Ottawa Senators prospect Stefan Noesen has been ruled ineligible to play for the United States at the world junior hockey championship because he is serving a suspension.
The International Ice Hockey Federationupholds suspensions from certified leagues. It notified USA Hockey on Monday that Noesen won't be allowed to play at the under-20 tournament that begins Dec. 26 in Ufa, Russia.
Noesen, of the Plymouth Whalers, was given a 10-game suspension by the Ontario Hockey League for charging after a hit on Tyler Hore of the Oshawa Generals in a game Dec. 8. He will have seven games remaining to serve when the world junior event begins.
The Plano, Texas, native, drafted 21st overall by Ottawa in 2011, has 17 goals and nine assists in 26 games for Plymouth this season. He was expected to play on one of the American team's top lines.
"While we respect the IIHF's decision, we don't feel the process is equitable," Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey,' said in a statement. "Moving forward, we'll work with the IIHF and other federations to address the situation."
The U.S. squad is to leave Tuesday for Finland for final preparations for the world tournament. With Noesen out, there were 26 players in camp. Three will be cut before the event.