Forwards William Knierim and Max Zimmer and defenseman Andrew Peeke, each a B-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's September players to watch list for the 2016 NHL Draft, on Tuesday were named to the U.S. Junior Select team that will compete in the 2015 World Junior A Challenge in Canada from Dec. 13-19.
The team, made up of players competing in the United States Hockey League, includes 13 forwards, six defensemen and one goaltender. An additional defenseman and goalie will be added later. The United States has won six of the past seven tournaments (2008-10, 2012-14).
There are four players on the roster selected in the 2015 NHL Draft: Omaha goaltender Kris Oldham (Tampa Bay Lightning, No. 153), Sioux City defenseman Ryan Zuhlsdorf (Tampa Bay Lightning, No. 150), Tri-City defenseman John Marino (Edmonton Oilers, No. 154) and Youngstown forward Chase Pearson (Detroit Red Wings, No. 140).
Zuhlsdorf and Cedar Rapids defenseman Mitch Reinke helped the United States capture the 2014 World Junior A Challenge title.
In addition to Knierim of the Dubuque Fighting Saints, Peeke of the Green Bay Gamblers, and Zimmer of the Chicago Steel, forward Grant Jozefec of the Lincoln Stars is also in his first year of eligibility for the 2016 NHL Draft.
The U.S. will open the tournament against the Czech Republic at the Cobourg Community Centre in Ontario on Dec. 14. Fargo Force coach Cary Eades will serve as coach for the U.S. Junior Selects.
2015 U.S. JUNIOR SELECT TEAM
Goalie: Kris Oldham, Omaha, USHL (Tampa Bay Lightning).
Defensemen: Andrew Peeke, Green Bay, USHL (2016 draft eligible); John Marino, Tri-City, USHL (Edmonton Oilers); Jack Ahcan, Cedar Rapids, USHL; Mitch Reinke, Cedar Rapids, USHL; Ryan Zuhlsdorf, Sioux City, USHL (Tampa Bay Lightning); Spenser Young, Dubuque, USHL.
Forwards: Chase Pearson, Youngstown, USHL (Detroit Red Wings); Tanner Laczynski, Chicago, USHL; William Knierim, Dubuque, USHL (2016 eligible); Callahan Burke, Cedar Rapids, USHL; Liam Pecararo, Waterloo, USHL; Max Zimmer, Chicago, USHL (2016 eligible); Rem Pitlick, Muskegon, USHL; Jake Wahlin, Tri-City, USHL; Josh Wilkins, Sioux City, USHL; Ross Colton, Cedar Rapids, USHL; Grant Jozefek, Lincoln, USHL (2016 eligible); Carson Meyer, Tri-City, USHL; Colin Peters, Sioux Falls, USHL.