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Injured Seth Jones will be unavailable for WJC

by Mike G. Morreale /
Defenseman Seth Jones, who was battling for a roster spot on the U.S. National Junior Team this week, sustained an upper-body injury in Tuesday's exhibition game against Team Russia and will be unable to participate in the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Jones apparently suffered his injury after taking a big hit along the boards while attempting to drive the net.

USA Hockey released a statement regarding Jones on Wednesday afternoon. U.S. coach Dean Blais is scheduled to name his official 22-man roster headed to Edmonton to compete in Group B of the tournament on Thursday morning.

Team USA will face off against Switzerland tonight in its second of three exhibition games leading up to the tournament, which begins Dec. 26. Blais is now down to eight defensemen in camp. In addition to Jones, Justin Faulk was invited but would not be loaned to the team by Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford.

Jones, who isn't eligible for the NHL Draft until 2013, is the son of retired NBA player "Popeye" Jones. Currently starring for the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program in the United States Hockey League, Jones was drafted by the Western Hockey League's Everett Silvertips in the first round (No. 11) of the 2009 bantam draft.

Jones was a member of the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team that won its third straight gold medal at the 2011 U18 World Championship in Crimmitschau and Dresden, Germany. He will undoubtedly have another shot at making the U.S. National Junior Team next year.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
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