by Corey Pronman
USA Hockey released its selection camp roster for the U-20 tournament naming 29 candidates for the 22-man final roster. Final cuts for the U.S. will come prior to their Dec 23rd preliminary game versus Norway. Russia and Sweden have released their preliminary rosters too and I will get that up in the next day or two.
Jack Campbell, (Dallas)
Andy Iles, (2011 Draft Eligible)
Adam Clendening, (2011 Draft eligible)
Brian Dumoulin, (Carolina)
Justin Faulk, (Carolina)
Derek Forbort, (Los Angeles)
Nick Leddy, (Chicago)
Jonathon Merrill, (New Jersey)
Jamieson Oleksiak, (2011 Draft eligible)
John Ramage, (Calgary)
Philip Samuelsson, (Pittsburgh)
Patrick Wey, (Washington)
Nick Bjugstad, (Florida)
Ryan Bourque, (N.Y. Rangers)
Connor Brickley, (Florida)
Chris Brown, Phoenix)
Mitchell Callahan, (Detroit)
Charlie Coyle, (San Jose)
Jerry D’Amigo, (Toronto)
Emerson Etem, (Anaheim)
Rocco Grimaldi, (2011 Draft eligible)
Chris Kreider, (New York Rangers)
Jeremy Morin, (Chicago)
Brock Nelson, (New York Islanders)
Matthew Nieto, (2011 Draft eligible)
Kyle Palmieri, (Anaheim)
Brandon Saad, (2011 Draft eligible)
Drew Shore, (Florida)
Jason Zucker, (Minnesota)
- It should come to no surprise that USA Hockey is pretty set in goal, and by set I mean Iles will be on bench-warming duty as this is Jack Campbell’s show. The Dallas first round pick in 2010 has struggled mightily in Windsor this year posting an .891 SV% to date in just over 1000 minutes played, but he is still one of the most talented goaltending prospects in the world right now.
- Subtractions from this summer’s camp include: Boston’s Zane Gothberg, Chicago’s Stephen Johns, Pittsburgh’s Beau Bennett, Predators’ Zach Budish and Austin Watson. Budish is out due to injury as he tore his knee in a moped incident, Bennett also is suffering from a knee injury. Austin Watson is the most notable omission to the team as I would’ve figured at the absolute least he could have been a very good checker for this squad. Johns got caught in the mix of a very good group of defenders.
- Additions from this summer’s camp include: Florida’s Drew Shore and 2011 prospects Rocco Grimaldi, Jamie Oleksiak, Mitch Callahan, and Matt Nieto. Shore has been stellar this year with U of Denver, the sophomore center has 13 goals and 24 points in 18 games and has displayed a desirable defensive and physical game. Grimaldi despite being a late addition, may be the most explosive offensive talent on this roster as aside from the physical aspect which is below fringe level, he has plus tools across the board. Nieto does have a decent shot to make the team as he can play on numerous lines and his offensive talent level have some thinking he has a shot to go in the first round this year.
- This team like last year’s doesn’t have a real elite forward prospect and only one on defense (this year Merrill, last year Carlson) and Team USA will attempt to win not with star power on one big line, but rather good depth sprinkled out throughout the lineup which they undoubtedly have. Brandon Saad and Rocco Grimaldi both have the chance to emerge as that elite prospect, but I’m wary of pinning the two draft eligible forwards as that going into a U-20 tournament, even though they both have that kind of skill set.
- Watching how the US utilizes Charlie Coyle will be a thing to monitor. Coyle was given bottom-line duties in the summer, but for Boston University this year he has emerged as the team’s #1 center as a true freshman on one of the nation’s better programs. He has four goals and 11 points in 15 games thus far and reports coming out of BU are very positive so I have to think he’s made a case to be a top-six forward.