Four Carolina Hurricanes prospects will represent their respective countries in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. The tournament will be held in Helsinki, Finland from December 26 to January 5.
Netminder Alex Nedeljkovic joins Team USA, defensemen Haydn Fleury and Roland McKeown will represent Canada, and forward Sebastian Aho will compete for Finland. Fleury and McKeown will both be making their World Juniors debuts, while Aho and Nedeljkovic will skate in their second tournament.
Nedeljkovic (2014, second round) will battle Brandon Halverson for the starting position for the United States. Nedeljkovic has posted a .946 save percentage through three games with the Niagara IceDogs after being traded earlier this month. Prior to the trade, he played 19 games for the Flint Firebirds, earning a .907 save percentage and a 3.21 goals against average.
As captain for the Kingston Frontenacs, McKeown (2014, second round) has tallied 28 points (6g, 22a) and a plus-11 rating through 30 games. For the third straight season, Fleury (2014, first round) is an alternate captain for the Red Deer Rebels. He has 20 points (7g, 13a) and a plus-6 rating in 24 games with the Rebels.
Aho (2015, second round) has recorded 21 points (10g, 11a) in 26 games for Karpat. To date, he has 5 points (2g, 3a) in international tournaments for Finland this year.
The World Juniors tournament consists of 10 countries competing in preliminary round action from December 26-31. Group A includes Canada, Sweden, United States, Denmark and Switzerland, while Group B is made up of Russia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Finland and Belarus. The tournament format includes a single round-robin series for each group. The top four teams from Group A and Group B will advance to the playoff round, with the fifth place team from each group moving to the relegation round. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be held on January 2 and 4, followed by the medal games on January 5.
NHL Network will broadcast all of Team USA's games.
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