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USA Hockey names roster for World Jr. A Challenge

by Staff

Forwards Thomas Novak and Kyle Connor, both A-rated skaters on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for the 2015 NHL Draft, highlight the roster for the United States Junior Select Team that will compete in the 2014 World Junior A Challenge in Kindersley, Saskatchewan, Dec. 14-20.


GOALTENDERS: Hayden Hawkey, Omaha (Montreal Canadiens).

DEFENSEMEN: Mitch Reinke, Cedar Rapids (2015 draft eligible); Ryan Zuhlsdorf, Sioux City (2015 eligible); Blake Hillman, Dubuque (2015 eligible); Neal Pionk, Sioux City (2015 eligible); Charles Curti, Cedar Rapids (2015 eligible); Bobby Nardella, Tri-City (2015 eligible); Hayden Shaw, Waterloo (2015 eligible).

FORWARDS: Dylan Gambrell, Dubuque (2015 eligible); Seamus Malone, Dubuque (2015 eligible); Andrew Oglevie, Cedar Rapids (2015 eligible); Brock Boeser, Waterloo (2015 eligible); Dakota Joshua, Sioux Falls (Toronto Maple Leafs); Thomas Novak, Waterloo (2015 eligible); Shane Gersich, Omaha (Washington Capitals); Anthony Angello, Omaha (Pittsburgh Penguins); Kyle Connor, Youngstown (2015 eligible); Joe Snively, Sioux City (2015 eligible); Adam Gaudette, Cedar Rapids (2015 eligible); Robby Jackson, Chicago (2015 eligible); Tyler Sheehy, Waterloo (2015 eligible).

The U.S. has won five of the past six tournaments with the exception of 2011, when it won a bronze medal. Canada West defeated Canada East in the 2011 gold medal match.

All the players selected currently compete in the United States Hockey League, the only Tier I junior hockey league in the U.S. Novak is a center for the Waterloo Black Hawks and Connor stars at center/left wing for the Youngstown Phantoms.

The roster features four players that helped the United States win the 2013 World Junior A Challenge, including forwards Connor, Seamus Malone (Dubuque Fighting Saints) and Andrew Oglevie (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), and defenseman Neal Pionk (Sioux City Musketeers).

Four players on the roster were selected in the 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia: forwards Dakota Joshua (Toronto Maple Leafs, No. 128), Shane Gersich (Washington Capitals, No. 134) and Anthony Angello (Pittsburgh Penguins, No. 145), and goaltender Hayden Hawkey (Montreal Canadiens, No. 177).

The United States have won 26 of the 31 games they have played in the event. The tournament will feature teams from the U.S., Denmark, Russia, Switzerland and two from Canada; Canada East and West. Denmark is competing in the tournament for the first time.

Sioux City Musketeers coach and director of hockey operations Jay Varady will serve as head coach of the U.S. Junior Select Team.

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