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U.S. finalizes roster for World Junior Championship

by Mike G. Morreale

Forward Clayton Keller and defenseman Ryan Collins were the final two players released from the United States National Junior Team that will compete in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland.

The final roster features two goaltenders, seven defensemen and 13 forwards.

Keller, an A-rated prospect on NHL Central Scouting's November players to watch list for the 2016 NHL Draft, will return to USA Hockey's Under-18 National Team Development Program in the United States Hockey League. He is committed to attend Boston University in Hockey East in 2016-17.

Collins, who was selected in the second round (No. 47) of the 2014 NHL Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets, represented the United States at the 2015 WJC in Montreal and Toronto. He will return to the University of Minnesota in the Big Ten.

The 2016 WJC will be held Dec. 26 to Jan. 5. The U.S. opens play Dec. 26 against Canada in a Group A preliminary-round game. Also in Group A are Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland. Group B includes Russia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Finland and Belarus.


GOALTENDERS: *Brandon Halverson, Sault Ste. Marie, OHL (New York Rangers); *Alex Nedeljkovic, Niagara, OHL (Carolina Hurricanes)

DEFENSEMEN: Louis Belpedio, Miami University, NCHC (Minnesota Wild); *Brandon Carlo, Tri-City, WHL (Boston Bruins); William Borgen, St. Cloud State University (Buffalo Sabres); Brandon Fortunato, Boston University, H-EAST (2016 draft eligible); Chad Krys, USNTDP, USHL (2016 draft eligible); Charles McAvoy, Boston University, H-EAST (2016 draft eligible); *Zachary Werenski, University of Michigan, BIG 10 (Columbus Blue Jackets).

FORWARDS: Anders Bjork, University of Notre Dame, H-EAST (Boston Bruins); Brock Boeser, University of North Dakota, NCHC (Vancouver Canucks); Alexander DeBrincat, Erie, OHL (2016 draft eligible); Ryan Donato, Harvard University, ECAC (Boston Bruins); Christian Dvorak, London, OHL (Arizona Coyotes); Scott Eansor, Seattle, WHL (2016 draft eligible); Ryan Hitchcock, Yale University, ECAC (2016 draft eligible); *Auston Matthews, Zurich, SUI (2016 draft eligible); Ryan MacInnis, Kitchener, OHL (Arizona Coyotes); *Sonny Milano, Lake Erie, AHL (Columbus Blue Jackets); *Nick Schmaltz, University of North Dakota, NCHC (Chicago Blackhawks); Matthew Tkachuk, London, OHL (2016 draft eligible); Colin White, Boston College, H-EAST (Ottawa Senators).

* - returning player

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