There are high expectations for this year's United States national junior team, and it looks as though two Blue Jackets prospects will be right in the thick of it.
Less than a month ahead of the start of the 2015 World Junior Hockey Championship in Toronto and Montreal, USA Hockey announced its 30-player roster for the upcoming selection camp in Boston. The camp will take place Dec. 16-19 at Walter Brown Arena on the campus of Boston University, and the camp invites are scheduled for four practices and an exhibition game before departing for Kingston, Ont. on Dec. 21.
USA Hockey expects to name its final World Junior roster by Christmas Eve. The tournament officially begins with preliminary round games on Dec. 26 at both the Bell Centre (Montreal) and Air Canada Centre (Toronto), with the gold medal game being played on Jan. 5, 2015 at Air Canada Centre.
Blue Jackets prospect Sonny Milano, selected No. 16 overall at the 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia, is vying for his first World Junior appearance after starring for Team USA during the Under-18 tournament. Milano, 18, is a point-per-game player with the Plymouth Whalers (OHL), racking up five goals and 19 assists in 24 games so far this season.
Milano is also one of six first-round picks on the selection camp roster, a roster that includes 21 players currently playing NCAA hockey.
One of those college hockey selections in defenseman Ryan Collins, the Blue Jackets' second-round pick in 2014. Collins, a 6-foot-5 right-hand shooting blue liner and currently a freshman at the University of Minnesota (where fellow Blue Jackets prospect and former WJC standout Mike Reilly also plays), is one of 10 defensemen in the mix for spots on this year's team.