Three members of the Portland Winterhawks will lead the United States at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, to be held Aug. 5-10 in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Piestany, Slovakia.
Among those selected are a number of top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft, including Portland center Dominic Turgeon, the son of former NHL star Pierre Turgeon. In Dominic's first full Western Hockey League season in 2012-13, he had three goals and five assists in 54 regular-season games, and played five games in the WHL playoffs, where Portland won the title and advanced to the Memorial Cup championship game.
With the graduation of a number of the players who helped Portland to so much success last season, it's expected Turgeon, a 6-foot-1.25, 196-pound center, will have a bigger role in 2013-14.
Joining him from the Winterhawks on the U.S. team for the tournament will be center Keegan Iverson and left wing Paul Bittner.
The roster also includes five players who helped the U.S. Under-17 team win the 2012 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament: defencemen Jack Dougherty and Robert Nardella; and forwards Kyle Connor, Joey Dudek and Austin Poganski.
The goaltenders are two players who have top-level junior-hockey experience. Alex Nedeljkovic had a 2.28 goals-against average in 28 regular-season games as a rookie with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, and played in 15 OHL playoff games. Blake Weyrick got into seven games with the United States National Team Development Program in 2012-13 and was the third goaltender on the U.S. team that won the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
Eighteen of the 21 players picked for the team are eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft. Three are eligible for the 2015 draft: Bittner; center Kyle Connor, who played with the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League; and Jake Wahlin, a left wing from White Bear Lake (Minn.) High School.
NHL alumnus Bob Corkum will coach the team, with Derek Plante serving as his assistant. The United States finished seventh at last year's tournament.
The United States will open play Aug. 5 against Finland, and play Russia and Slovakia in the preliminary round. Also participating in the tournament are Canada, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland. The semifinals will be played Aug. 9, and the championship game Aug. 10.
UNITED STATES IVAN HLINKA TOURNAMENT ROSTER
GOALTENDERS: Alex Nedeljkovic*, Plymouth (OHL); Blake Weyrick*, USA U-18 (USHL)
DEFENCEMEN: Jack Dougherty*, St. Thomas (HIGH-MN); Aaron Haydon*, Niagara (OHL); Ryan Mantha*, Sioux City (USHL); Robert Nardella*, Chicago Mission U-16 (T1AAA); Jerad Rosburg*, Ohio Blue Jackets U-18 (USMAAAE); Nick Wolff*, Eagan (HIGH-MN)
FORWARDS: Paul Bittner, Portland (WHL); Kyle Connor, Youngstown (USHL); Joey Dudek*, Kimball Union (HIGH-NH); Keegan Iverson*, Portland (WHL); Dylan Malmquist*, Edina (HIGH-MN); Cody Milan*, Sioux Falls (USHL); Chase Phelps*, Shattuck-St. Mary's (HIGH-MN); Austin Poganski*, St. Cloud Cathedral (HIGH-MN); Nick Schmaltz*, Green Bay (USHL); Joe Snively*, Sioux City (USHL); Dominic Turgeon*, Portland (WHL); Ryan Wagner*, Chicago Mission U-16 (T1AAA); Jake Wahlin, White Bear Lake (HIGH-MN)
* eligible for 2014 NHL Draft