USA Hockey unveiled the U.S. Junior Select Team, set to compete in the 2018 World Junior A Challenge from Dec. 9-16 in Bonnyville, AB. All 21 players selected currently play in the USHL. The team includes 12 forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders.
12 different USHL teams are represented on the roster, including six teams with multiple players: Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (3), Sioux City Musketeers (3), Tri-City Storm (3), Central Illinois Flying Aces (2), Fargo Force (2) and Waterloo Black Hawks (2).
All 21 players are currently committed to NCAA Division I schools, including four programs with multiple commits: University of North Dakota (3), University of Providence College (2), University of Denver (2) and University of Notre Dame (2).
The roster also includes Detroit Red Wings prospect Ryan O’Reilly (Fargo Force), who was selected at the 2018 NHL Draft, as well as 10 players that were named to Monday’s NHL Central Scouting Updated Players to Watch List in preparation for the 2019 NHL Draft: Grant Silianoff (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Trevor Janicke (Central Illinois Flying Aces), Robert Mastrosimone (Chicago Steel), Josh Nodler (Fargo Force), Ethan Frisch (Green Bay Gamblers), Shane Pinto (Lincoln Stars), Bobby Brink (Sioux City Musketeers), Ryan Johnson (Sioux Falls Stampede), Zac Jones (Tri-City Storm) and Isaiah Saville (Tri-City Storm)
The 2018 U.S. Junior Select Team will be led by Tri-City Storm head coach Anthony Noreen. Assistant coaches include Omaha Lancers head coach David Wilkie, Waterloo Black Hawks assistant coach and director of scouting and player personnel Shane Fukishima and Sioux City Musketeers assistant coach Mark Abalan.
2018 marks the third time Noreen will serve on a U.S. Junior Select Team staff and his first stint as head coach. In 2013, he helped lead the U.S. to a championship at the World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, NS. He also served as an assistant coach last year in Truro, NS, when the U.S. claimed second place with a 4-0-0-2 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record. Abalan, who is in his first season as associate head coach of the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers, is serving on a U.S. Junior Select Team for the second time after coaching alongside Noreen with the 2013 squad that won the tournament. Fukishima, who is in his 13th season as an assistant coach and director of scouting and player personnel with the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks, is also serving on a U.S. Junior Select Team for the second time. He served previously as an assistant coach in 2011. Making his international debut as an assistant coach for the U.S. Junior Select Team is Wilkie, a second-year head coach and general manager for the Omaha Lancers, who skated for Team USA at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in 1993 and 1994.
The World Junior A Challenge is in its 13th year, and the United States is competing for the 12th time. The United States will once again be joined by Canada East, Canada West, the Czech Republic and Russia. The United States has captured the World Junior A Challenge title seven times, including four gold medals in the last six years (2012-14, 2016).
Six NHL Draft first round selections from the USHL have played for the U.S. Select Team all-time: Brock Boeser (Waterloo Black Hawks), John Carlson (Indiana Ice), Kyle Connor (Youngstown Phantoms), John Moore (Chicago Steel), Jordan Schmaltz (Green Bay Gamblers) and Nick Schmaltz (Green Bay Gamblers).