OHL Stars Alex DeBrincat and Logan Brown Cut By Team USA

WINDSOR, ON - FEBRUARY 06: Forward Alex DeBrincat #12 of the Erie Otters skates against the Windsor Spitfires on February 6, 2016 at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)

USA Hockey is back in the news today regarding roster prep for an international event that involved the cutting/leaving off of some notable players. Sound familiar?

Yes, like this summer with his NHL counterpart Dean Lombardi, General Manager of the World Junior Championships squad, Jim Johansson, has engaged in some controversial roster decisions. The 11th overall pick in this past draft, Logan Brown, and the top goal scorer in the OHL this season, Alex DeBrincat, were cut this morning with the start of the tournament just days away.

In the case of Brown, he has been dealing with a wrist injury that has limited him to just 15 games for the Windsor Spitfires this season scoring eight goals and 21 points, and Team USA has ten forwards that are either centers by trade or can play in the middle and on the wing. Headliners down the middle include first rounders Clayton Keller (7th overall, Arizona), Luke Kunin (15th, Minnesota) complemented by late 2016 picks Patrick Harper (5th round, 138th, Nashville) and Tanner Laczynkski (6th round, 169th, Philadelphia).

Each is well over a point per game at their respective collegiate teams, but pales in comparison to the 6’6″, 220-pound frame that Brown could provide at the net front and in the dot using size to his advantage in regaining possession for his team. He was a standout at the Under-18 World Junior Championships, scoring three goals and adding 12 points in seven games helping his country net bronze back in 2015.

As for DeBrincat, it is hard to defend this decision considering his 30 goals and 60 points in just 28 games for the Erie Otters, second only to teammate Taylor Raddysh with 61. He’s just 5’7″, but considering his body of work with 1.70 points per game in 156 career junior contests, the ability that he has shown to create and finish on high-danger scoring chances, players that he has learned from in top picks Connor McDavid and Dylan Strome, one would love to have his scoring punch in the lineup for any junior roster.

The 19-year old Farmington Hills, Michigan native scored just one goal in five tournament games last year for Team USA and took quite an undisciplined spearing penalty against Canada’s Travis Konecny, but the good of taking him on outweighs the bad in his impact and numbers. Jeremy Bracco (2nd round, 61st, Toronto) Jack Roslovic, (2015, 25th, Winnipeg), Tage Thompson (26th, St. Louis), and Colin White (21st, Ottawa Senators) are going to be looked at to carry the load offensively.

Click the embedded links for LWOH’s own Ben Kerr’s scouting reports on Brown, DeBrincat, Keller, Bracco, Thompson, White, Kunin, and Roslovic to get you ready for the 2017 edition of the tournament.

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