Slowly but surely, the U.S. National Junior Team that will participate in the 2013 World Junior Championship is taking shape.
On Sunday morning in Helsinki, Finland, U.S. general manager Jim Johannson and his staff announced the release of two players, including defenseman Brady Skjei of the University of Minnesota and forward Stefan Matteau of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
Johannson will need to cut one more defenseman to get his roster to the required 23-man unit. According to reports, the U.S. managerial team is awaiting medical reports on an undisclosed player before making a final decision, which should be made Sunday.
The roster currently includes 13 forwards, eight defensemen and three goalies, including one emergency backup in case of injury.
"We are very close to finalizing our group of defensemen, pending the resolution of a medical situation," Johannson said in a statement. "We are set with our 13 forwards and three goaltenders. The decisions we made [Sunday] were very difficult and are a testament to the talent available to us in the United States."