Armed with eight first-round NHL draft picks, three returning players and two promising draft-eligible prospects, USA Hockey on Tuesday announced its selection camp roster for the team that will comprise the U.S. National Junior Team competing in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia, later this month.
Team USA's training camp will take place Dec. 16-18 at the New York Rangers' training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y. The camp then will move to Helsinki, Finland, Dec. 19-23 before the final 23-man roster, which will include three goalies, is determined Dec. 23.
"We have a young, but talented group of players," Jim Johannson, general manager of the 2013 U.S. National Junior Team and also the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey, said. "There will be some tough choices to get to the final roster, but that's certainly a good problem to have."
U.S. National Team coach Phil Housley will oversee a 27-man preliminary roster at camp that includes 15 forwards and nine defensemen. There are 13 states and 18 NHL clubs represented on the roster.
U.S. '13 WJC SELECTION CAMP ROSTER
Goalies: John Gibson
, Kitchener Rangers, OHL (Ducks); Jon Gillies
, Providence College, HEA (Flames); Garret Sparks
, Guelph Storm, OHL (Maple Leafs).Defensemen: Shayne Gostisbehere
, Union College, ECACH (Flyers); Matt Grzelcyk, Boston University, HEA (Bruins); Seth Jones, Portland, WHL (2013 draft eligible); Jake McCabe
, University of Wisconsin, WCHA (Sabres); Connor Murphy
, Sarnia, OHL (Coyotes); Mike Reilly
, University of Minnesota, WCHA (Blue Jackets); Patrick Sieloff
, Windsor, OHL (Flames); Brady Skjei
, University of Minnesota, WCHA (Rangers); Jacob Trouba
, University of Michigan, CCHA (Jets).Forwards: Cole Bardreau
, Cornell University, ECACH (free agent); Riley Barber
, Miami University, CCHA (Capitals); Tyler Biggs
, Oshawa, OHL (Maple Leafs); Alex Galchenyuk
, Sarnia, OHL (Canadiens); John Gaudreau
, Boston College, HEA (Flames); Rocco Grimaldi
, University of North Dakota, WCHA (Panthers); Ryan Hartman, Plymouth, OHL (2013 draft eligible); Sean Kuraly
, Miami University, CCHA (Sharks); Mario Lucia
, University of Notre Dame, CCHA (Wild); Stefan Matteau
, Blainville-Boisbriand, QMJHL (Devils); J.T. Miller
, Connecticut, AHL (Rangers); Stefan Noesen
, Plymouth, OHL (Senators); Blake Pietila
, Michigan State University, WCHA (Devils); Vince Trocheck, Saginaw, OHL (Panthers); Jimmy Vesey
, Harvard University, ECACH (Predators).
Among those returnees from last year's WJC team are goalie John Gibson of the Kitchener Rangers, defenseman Jacob Trouba of the University of Michigan and forward J.T. Miller of the Connecticut Whale.
Gibson, who hasn't played since suffering a strained hip flexor last Tuesday, likely will be the starter when the U.S. opens the tournament Dec. 27 against Germany. Jon Gillies of Providence College and Garret Sparks of the Guelph Storm will compete for backup duty during selection camp.
The U.S. roster is stocked with first-round draftees -- defensemen Connor Murphy (Phoenix, 2011), Brady Skjei (N.Y. Rangers, 2012) and Trouba (Winnipeg, 2012) and forwards Tyler Biggs (Toronto, 2011), Alex Galchenyuk (Montreal, 2012), Stefan Matteau (New Jersey, 2012), Miller (N.Y. Rangers, 2011) and Stefan Noesen (Ottawa, 2011).
At USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., in August, Biggs finished second only to fellow camp invitee, Sean Kuraly of Miami University, with four goals and seven points in five games.
Born in Milwaukee while his father, Alex Sr., was playing for the Milwaukee Admirals of the IHL, the younger Galchenyuk lived all over Europe while father played in Russia, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Belarus. Alex speaks Italian, Russian and English and holds dual U.S./Russian citizenship, but his sights always have been set on representing the U.S. in international competitions.
There are two promising 2013 draft prospects on the roster, defenseman Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks and forward Ryan Hartman of the Plymouth Whalers. Jones likely would have represented the U.S. at last year's tournament if not for a shoulder injury sustained in the last exhibition game.
Jones, rated No. 1 among WHL skaters in NHL Central Scouting's preliminary league rankings, will serve as captain for Team Orr at the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Jan. 16.
Over the summer, he served as captain for the United States at the World Under-18 Championship, totaling eight points in six games as the U.S. earned the gold medal.
"If Seth Jones was eligible for the 2012 Draft, he would have given Ryan Murray (taken by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the second pick) a run for his money as the top defender chosen," NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr told NHL.com.
Central Scouting has Hartman No. 11 among skaters in the OHL.
The U.S. is coming off a seventh-place finish at the 2012 WJC, its worst showing since finishing eighth in 1999.
The 2013 WJC will run Dec. 26 through Jan. 5. All preliminary-round games for the U.S. and Canada will be played at the 7,950-seat Ufa Arena. The U.S. will play in Group B, with Canada, Slovakia, Germany and host Russia. Defending gold medalist Sweden, which scored a 1-0 overtime victory against Russia in last year's final, heads the Group A field, with Finland, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Latvia.
The quarterfinals will be played Jan. 2 and semifinals Jan. 3. The bronze-medal game will be Jan. 5 at 4 a.m. ET; and the gold-medal game will follow at 8 a.m. ET.
NHL Network-U.S. is the home of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, with coverage of more than 15 games -- including every U.S. and Canada game -- as well as highlights and analysis.
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
Author: Mike G. Morreale | NHL.com Staff Writer