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Draft: Keller, Bellows, Brown top U.S. U-18 roster

Three forwards could use strong tournament to cement spots as first-round picks

NHL.com @NHL

Forwards Clayton Keller, Kieffer Bellows and Logan Brown, all projected to be first-round picks in the 2016 NHL Draft, highlight the 22-player roster for the United States at the 2016 IIHF World U-18 Championship.

The tournament takes place at Ralph Engelstad Arena and ICON Sports Center in Grand Forks, N.D., from April 14-24. NHL Network will televise each game involving the United States.

Keller, a 5-foot-9, 168-pound center, is No. 8 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters. He led USA Hockey's National Team Development Program under-18 team with 57 assists and 87 points in 53 games.

Bellows (6-0, 196), a left wing, is No. 12 on Central Scouting's ranking. He led the NTDP U-18 team with 41 goals, eight game-winning goals and 12 power-play goals in 53 games. He is the son of Brian Bellows, a former NHL player.

Brown, a center, is No. 14 on Central Scouting's ranking. In 59 games with Windsor of the Ontario Hockey League. Brown (6-6, 222) had 21 goals, 74 points and a plus-24 rating. The son of former NHL player Jeff Brown, Logan has dual citizenship with the United States and Canada.

The United States is the two-time defending gold medalist and has won the championship six times in the past seven years. The U.S. has won a medal at 12 straight World U-18 tournaments.

Danton Cole, coach of the NTDP U-18 team, will coach the U.S. at the tournament. The U.S. will play in Group A with Latvia, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland. Group B consists of Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland and Slovakia.

Of the 22 players picked, 19 play for the NTDP U-18 team. The youngest player selected is goaltender Jake Oettinger, 17, who is eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft. He is committed to Boston University for next season.

Oettinger is one of four players on the team eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft. Defenseman Luke Martin (6-2, 209) and forwards Casey Mittelstadt (5-11, 190) and Kailer Yamamoto (5-8, 159) are the others.

UNITED STATES WORLD UNDER-18 CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER

GOALIES: Jake Oettinger, USA U-18, USHL (2017 draft eligible); Joseph Woll, USA U-18, USHL (2016 draft eligible)

DEFENSEMEN: Adam Fox, USA U-18, USHL (2016 draft eligible); J.D. Greenway, USA U-18, USHL (2016 draft eligible); Matthew Hellickson, USA U-18, USHL (2016 draft eligible); Chad Krys, USA U-18, USHL (2016 draft eligible); Ryan Lindgren, USA U-18, USHL (2016 draft eligible); Griffin Luce, USA U-18, USHL (2016 draft eligible); Luke Martin, USA U-18, USHL (2017 draft eligible)

FORWARDS: Joseph Anderson, USA U-18, USHL (2016 draft eligible); Kieffer Bellows, USA U-18, USHL (2016 draft eligible); Logan Brown, Windsor, OHL (2016 draft eligible); Trent Frederic, USA U-18, USHL (2016 draft eligible); Keeghan Howdeshell, USA U-18, USHL (2016 draft eligible); Clayton Keller, USA U-18, USHL (2016 draft eligible); Will Lockwood, USA U-18, USHL (2016 draft eligible); Graham McPhee, USA U-18, USHL (2016 draft eligible); Casey Mittelstadt, Eden Prairie, HIGH-MN (2017 draft eligible); Nick Pastujov, USA U-18, USHL (2016 draft eligible); James Sanchez, USA U-18, USHL (2016 draft eligible); Zachary Walker, USA U-18, USHL (2017 eligible); Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane, WHL (2017 draft eligible)

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