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Galchenyuk to lead U.S. team at Hlinka tournament

by Mike G. Morreale
Alex Galchenyuk, a top prospect for the 2012 Entry Draft, headlines a talented group of American players chosen for the U.S. Under-18 Select Team that will compete at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament from next month.

Galchenyuk's father, Alexander, is from Belarus, but Alex was born in Milwaukee when his father played for the Milwaukee Admirals of the International Hockey League. Alex, a 6-foot, 185-pound center/left wing, was taken by the Sarnia Sting with the first pick of the 2010 Ontario Hockey League draft, and finished second among all first-year OHL players in scoring last season with 83 points in 68 games.

Also named to the 22-player roster was forward Cristoval Nieves of the Kent School in Connecticut. The 6-2, 170-pound center also is considered a top prospect for next year's draft.

Another player to watch is defenseman Justin Wade, who had 1 assist in 35 games last season with the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League, but was part of the U.S. team that won the U-17 Five Nations Tournament.

Other notable members of the roster are Edina (Minn.) High School forward Louie Nanne, grandson of long-time USA Hockey executive and former Minnesota North Stars General Manager Lou Nanne.

Of the 22 players on the team, 19 are eligible for the 2012 Entry Draft.

The Hlinka tournament runs Aug. 8-13, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The U.S. opens against Finland on Aug. 8 in Piestany, Slovakia, and also plays Russia and Slovakia in round-robin play. The semifinals will be Aug. 12 and the championship game on Aug. 13.

The U.S. finished second in last year's tournament.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
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