Minnesota Wild prospect Louis Belpedio
was named an alternate captain for the 2016 United States Junior National Team for the upcoming 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland.
A sophomore defenseman currently playing at the University of Miami Ohio, Belpedio also was a captain for the 2014 United States National Under-18 team that won a goal medal in Lappeenranta, Finland at the IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship.
"We're excited about our leadership group here in Finland," said Ron Wilson, head coach of the team, according to a release from USA Hockey. "Zach (Werenski), Louie, Auston (Matthews) and Colin (White) have led by example since day one in Lake Placid this August and have the respect of everybody in the room."
Belpedio is one of five Wild prospects who will be competing in the 2016 tournament, which begins on December 26, and ends January 5.
Forward Joel Eriksson Ek (Sweden); goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen (Finland); goaltender Ales Stezka (Czech Republic); and forward Kirill Kaprizov (Russia) will also each be representing their respective countries.
The tournament begins this Saturday with all five Wild prospects' countries scheduled to play. Czech Republic and Russia open play in Group B at 6 a.m. CT; Sweden plays Switzerland at 8 a.m. CT; Finland plays Belarus at 10 a.m. CT; and the United States plays Canada at 12 p.m. CT. All four of those games will be broadcast on TSN networks.