COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Twenty-nine players, including five members of the bronze medal-winning 2018 U.S. National Junior Team, have been named to the preliminary roster for the 2019 U.S. National Junior Team. The announcement was made today by USA Hockey on NHL Network’s “NHL Now.” Two New York State natives were among the 29 including Joel Farabee (Cicero, NY) and Tyler Madden (Albany, NY).
The group is auditioning for a spot on the final 23-player roster that will represent the United States in the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship from Dec. 26, 2018 – Jan. 5, 2019, in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.
“As a staff, we’ve grown more and more excited about this player pool as we’ve gone through evaluations this fall and we’re thrilled to have these 29 players coming to Everett next week,” said John Vanbiesbrouck, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey and the general manager of the 2019 U.S. National Junior Team. “The player pool is deeper than it has ever been, and that’s credit to all the organizations and volunteers developing the next wave of U.S. hockey stars. I know Coach Hastings (U.S. Head Coach Mike Hastings) and his staff are excited to bring these players together as we begin the challenge of getting to a final roster that will give us the best chance to bring home a gold medal.”
RETURNING FROM LAST YEAR
Among those named to the preliminary roster are five members of the 2018 U.S. National Junior Team that earned the bronze medal at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y., including defensemen Mikey Anderson (Roseville, Minn./University of Minnesota Duluth), Quinn Hughes (Orlando, Fla./University of Michigan) and Dylan Samberg (Hermantown, Minn./University of Minnesota Duluth) and forwards Josh Norris (Oxford, Mich./University of Michigan) and Ryan Poehling (Lakeville, Minn./St. Cloud State University).
In total, 21 players named to the preliminary roster have previously skated on a U.S. national or select team, including 15 who have medaled in IIHF competition.
THE HUGHES FACTOR
Leading all U.S. players with international experience is Quinn Hughes, drafted seventh overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2018 NHL Draft, who has earned three IIHF medals for the United States, including one gold medal (2017 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship) and two bronze medals (2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, 2018 IIHF Men’s World Championship). Additionally, his brother Jack Hughes (Orlando, Fla./U.S. National Under-18 Team), the projected top pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, helped the U.S. earn a silver medal at the 2017 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship where he earned the Directorate Award as the top forward and a spot on the Media All-Star Team after leading the tournament with 12 points (5-7) in seven games.
The 29 players will convene in Everett, Wash., for training camp from Dec. 15-17 at Angel of the Winds Arena. The camp will serve as part of the selection process in determining the final Team USA roster for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Following its camp in Everett, Team USA will travel to Kamloops where it will train at Sandman Centre from Dec. 18-20. During its time in Kamloops, Team USA will face off against Russia in a pre-tournament game at Sandman Centre on Dec. 20. The U.S. will then travel to Langley, B.C., to meet the Czech Republic in its final pre-tournament game at George Preston Recreation Centre on Dec. 22. Faceoff for both tilts are set for 7 p.m. local time (10 p.m. ET).
NOTES: USA Hockey expects to name its final 23-player roster for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship by Dec. 23 … A total of 25 players named to the preliminary roster have ties to the United States Hockey League, including 13 assosicated with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program in Plymouth, Michigan … Two players on the preliminary roster are Vancouver Canucks draft picks, including 2018 selections Quinn Hughes (first round, 7th overall) and Tyler Madden (third round, 68th overall) … The U.S. enters the tournament having medaled in three straight World Junior Championships for the first time in U.S. history after earning gold in 2017 and bronze in 2018 and 2016 … John Vanbiesbrouck (Detroit, Mich.), assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey, is serving as the general manager of the U.S. National Junior Team … Mike Hastings (Crookston, Minn./Minnesota State University) is the head coach of Team USA and joined by assistant coaches David Lassonde (Durham, N.H./Dartmouth College), Steve Miller (Sun Prairie, Wis./Ohio State University), Scott Sandelin (Hibbing, Minn./University of Minnesota Duluth) and Jerry Keefe (Saugus, Mass./Northeastern University) … USA Hockey’s international council, chaired by Gavin Regan (Potsdam, N.Y.), vice president of USA Hockey, has oversight responsibilities for all U.S. national teams … NHL Network is the official U.S. broadcaster of the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship. Team USA will play its preliminary round games in Victoria against Group B opponents Kazakhstan, Finland, Slovakia and Sweden. Quarterfinals will be split between the Vancouver and Victoria. The semifinal and medal games will be played at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
(Farabee Photo USA Hockey)