When Team USA takes to the ice in Buffalo to defend their gold medal at the World Junior Championship, they’ll have a decidedly professional approach.
That’s because they’ll have four professional players suiting up for them as they look for back-to-back gold medals for the first time in the tournament’s history.
Forwards Kyle Palmieri, Jerry D’Amigo and Jeremy Morin and defenseman Nick Leddy have all spent the season in the American Hockey League and in the case of Palmieri, Miron and Leddy, have seen a combined 22 games in the National Hockey League.
The four were among 29 players named to Team USA’s preliminary roster.
The team is returning eight players from the gold medal winning squad a year ago. Among them is goaltender Jack Campbell, who also helped the Americans win gold at the 2010 Under-18 World Championship.
GOALTENDERS — Jack Campbell, Windsor Spitfires, OHL (Dallas); Andy Iles, Cornell (2011 Draft eligible).
DEFENSEMEN — Adam Clendening, Boston University (2011 Draft eligible); Brian Dumoulin, Boston College (Carolina); Justin Faulk, Minnesota-Duluth (Carolina); Derek Forbort, North Dakota (Los Angeles); Nick Leddy, Rockford, AHL (Chicago); Jonathon Merrill, Michigan (New Jersey); Jamieson Oleksiak, Northeastern (2011 Draft eligible); John Ramage, Wisconsin (Calgary); Philip Samuelsson, Boston College (Pittsburgh); Patrick Wey, Boston College (Washington).
FORWARDS — Nick Bjugstad, Minnesota (Florida); Ryan Bourque, Quebec, QMJHL (N.Y. Rangers); Connor Brickley, Vermont (Florida); Chris Brown, Michigan (Phoenix); Mitchell Callahan, Kelowna, WHL (Detroit); Charlie Coyle, Boston University (San Jose); Jerry D’Amigo, Toronto (Toronto); Emerson Etem, Medicine Hat, WHL (Anaheim); Rocco Grimaldi, U.S. National Team Development Program (2011 Draft eligible); Chris Kreider, Boston College (N.Y. Rangers); Jeremy Morin, Rockford, AHL (Chicago); Brock Nelson, North Dakota (N.Y. Islanders); Matthew Nieto, Boston University (2011 Draft eligible); Kyle Palmieri, Syracuse, AHL (Anaheim); Brandon Saad, Saginaw, OHL (2011 Draft eligible); Drew Shore, Denver (Florida); Jason Zucker, Denver (Minnesota).
Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!