Lucia to lead U.S. at World Junior 'A' Challenge

Friday, 10.21.2011 / 2:38 PM
Adam Kimelman  - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor
Mario Lucia, a 2011 second-round draft pick of the Minnesota Wild, was one of 22 players picked to represent the U.S. at the 2011 World Junior 'A' Challenge, which will be held Nov. 7-13 in Langley, B.C.

The U.S. has won the event three straight years.

A 6-foot-2, 187-pound left wing, Lucia is playing this season with the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League. Through nine games, he's tied for second in the league with 19 points.

Lucia is one of six players taken in the 2011 Entry Draft named to the team. Joining Lucia will be his Penticton teammate, defenseman Mike Reilly, a fourth-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets; defenseman Andy Welinski, a third-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks currently with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League; Welinski's Green Bay teammate, forward Alexander Broadhurst, a seventh-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks; forward Tony Cameranesi, a fifth-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs currently playing for the Waterloo Blackhawks of the USHL; and forward Sean Kuraly, a fifth-round pick of the San Jose Sharks.

Of the remaining 16 players, 15 are eligible for the 2012 draft, including defensemen Brian Cooper and Jordan Schmaltz, who helped the U.S. win gold last year. Cooper, a 5-foot-10, 181-pound blueliner playing with the USHL's Fargo Force, is listed as an 'A' Player to Watch on NHL Central Scouting's Players to Watch list.

The youngest player on the team is 16-year-old defenseman Ian McCoshen of the Waterloo Black Hawks.

Des Moines Buccaneers coach/GM Regg Simon will coach the team, with Waterloo Black Hawks associate coach Shane Fukushima and Omaha Lancers coach/GM Bliss Littler serving as his assistants.

Joining the U.S. in the tournament will be teams from the Czech Republic, Russia and Sweden, plus two teams from Canada (East and West).

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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