When the United States went about picking its team for the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship, there was a surprise name in the middle of the discussion. It was a big, strong, skilled 17-year-old defenseman a year away from NHL draft consideration.
A year later, that same player now will be no surprise addition to the U.S. WJC team. Seth Jones, 18, will be expected to play a major role as the United States looks to improve on its seventh-place finish in Alberta.
Jones, expected to be one of the top two players picked at the 2013 NHL Draft, was one of 27 players invited by USA Hockey to its selection camp, to be held Dec 16-18 at the New York Rangers' training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y.
Barring injury, Jones has a spot on the team, likely as a top-pair defenseman who will see lots of ice time in all situations.