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Torey Krug Named to U.S. Men's National Team

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins - USA Hockey announced on Tuesday that defenseman Torey Krug has been named to the 2015 U.S. Men's National Team that will compete in the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship from May 1-17 in Ostrava and Prague, Czech Republic.

It marks Krug's first time playing for Team USA.

The native of Livonia, Michigan suited up in 78 games for the Bruins this season, registering 39 points with 12 goals and 27 assists. He played his first full NHL season in 2013-14, putting up 40 points through 79 games off 14 goals and 26 assists.

Krug's U.S. hockey roots began in Michigan, and then he worked his way to the junior level, playing for the Indiana Ice in the United States Hockey League. He then played three years for Michigan State, serving as captain of the Spartans, before signing with Boston as an undrafted free agent in March 2012 and spending most of the 2012-13 season in Providence.

The blueliner signed a one-year contract extension with the Bruins on March 6, 2015, keeping him in the Spoked-B through the 2015-16 season.

Boston's early end to 2014-15 is not what Krug nor the Bruins had envisioned.

"We’ve just got to use it as a learning tool," a disappointed Krug said during his final media session of the season on Monday. "As much as it stings, and it sucks, and everybody’s all upset, we have to make sure that we can find some sort of positive out of this and learn, and use it as a slap in the face and come back next year playing the way that we should."

In his second full NHL season in 2014-15, Krug was tasked with greater responsibility, often paired with Dennis Seidenberg. Zdeno Chara's early season injury, an injury to Adam McQuaid, a season-ending injury to defenseman Kevan Miller and an injury in the latter stages of the season to Dougie Hamilton all pushed Krug into a larger role as a top-four defenseman at times.

"I learned a lot this year," Krug said. "It was a tough year, ups and downs and everything that comes with it, and then at the end, obviously playing more minutes and a bigger role with the team, and it was fun for me."

"It’s more fun to play more often, because of your role and you’re playing more, and you’re just into it. I think I definitely answered [the question] that I can do it. Personally, it’s obviously fun to have those challenges and to play against better players. So I hope that I definitely proved that it’s a step in the right direction."

Krug no doubt would want to be competing alongside his Black and Gold teammates this time of year in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, where he has six goals and 10 assists in 27 playoff games, but being named to the National Team - and being able to slip on the red, white and blue for the first time - is certainly an honor for the U.S.-born defenseman.

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