RALEIGH, NC (December 7, 2000) – Carolina Hurricanes’ draftees Justin Forrest, Craig Kowalski and Damian Surma have been selected to the 22-man roster of the 2001 U.S. National Junior Team. The team will compete in the 2001 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship, which will be held December 26, 2000 through January 5, 2001 in Moscow and surrounding Russian cities. The tournament features the world’s top players under 20 years old.
Forrest, a 5’9”, 170 lbs. defenseman from Auburn, New York, completed his third season with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program last year and was a member of the 2000 USA Hockey Junior Select team that participated in the 2000 Viking Cup. Selected in the sixth round with the 181st overall pick, Forrest captained the NTDP squad and led the team in scoring with 34 points (6g, 28a) in 49 games. Forrest, 19, is currently in his freshman season at Boston College and has totaled six points (2g, 4a) in 12 games for the Eagles.
Kowalski, a goaltender, is currently in his freshman season at Northern Michigan, where he has compiled a record of 5-4-2 with a goals against average of 2.47 and a save percentage of .916. Kowalski (5’10”, 190 lbs.) compiled a 33-12-3 record and a 2.38 goals against average in 49 games for the Compuware Ambassadors of the North American Hockey League (NAHL) last year before being chosen in the eighth round (235th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
Surma, a center from Lincoln Park, Michigan, is currently in his third season with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. Originally selected as the franchise’s fifth pick (174th overall) in the sixth round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Surma (5’10’’, 200 lbs.) has scored 26 points (14g, 12a) in 21 games for the Whalers this season. Surma missed the early part of the season due to his continued rehabilitation after knee surgery this summer. Surma totaled 110 points (51g, 59a) and 290 penalty minutes in 131 games over his first two seasons with Plymouth.
The U.S. National Junior team will assemble in West Point, N.Y., on December 15 to prepare for the tournament. The team then travels to Finland for a pair of exhibition games on December 19 against Finland and December 22 against Switzerland before beginning competition at the IIHF World Junior Championship on December 26 against Kazakhstan. The 2000 Czech Republic team, featuring Hurricanes’ prospects Jaroslav Svoboda and Josef Vasicek, captured the IIHF World Junior Championship last year.