USA Hockey Announces Preliminary Roster

VANCOUVER , BC - JANUARY 5: Noah Cates #21 of the United States celebrates a goal with teammates Quinn Hughes #7, Jack Hughes #6, Alexander Chmelevski #8 and Phil Kemp #25 against Finland during a gold medal game at the IIHF World Junior Championships at Rogers Arena on January 5, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)

USA Hockey has announced its preliminary roster for the 2020 World Juniors held this year in the Czech Republic. The Americans will be trying to capture a championship after falling to Finland in the 2019 tournament. The USA announced the initial roster late Monday afternoon.

USA Hockey Preliminary Roster

Forwards

This year’s forward group should be among the strongest America has fielded in recent years. It features multiple players drafted in the high rounds of the 2019 Draft including Cole Caufield, Alex Turcotte and Arthur KaliyevThe offence should be easy to find when the Americans take the ice.

It can also grind against opponents with Boston Bruins prospect John Beecher alongside Shane Pinto with the Ottawa Senators. The U.S. will have to balance its firepower with some stopping power. Several of their players are on the smaller side. That might not matter as much in international play but having a few bigger, checking options is something every team will be looking to include.

Blue Line

The defence is relatively unknown compared to America’s offensive options. Cam York headlines the group as the #14 selection in the 2019 Draft for the Philadelphia Flyers. He certainly will be the most likely point man on the first power-play unit. Also notable is New  York Rangers prospect K’Andre Miller who will try to make his second consecutive World Juniors roster. Watch for Buffalo Sabres prospect Mattias Samuelsson. The 6’4″ Western Michigan defender is a strong option to lead the U.S. penalty kill.

The most notable absence from the preliminary roster is Jake Sanderson. He is one of the top American prospects in the 2020 draft pool so it is mildly shocking to see his name left off. The most likely reason is he is still just 17-years old and this tournament will largely feature 19-year-olds.

Goaltending

The American’s goaltending should be in fine with two draft picks likely anchoring the position. Spencer Knight was a lottery selection for the Florida Panthers while Dustin Wolf lingered until the final round before becoming a Calgary Flames pick. Knight is one of the more outstanding goalies the U.S. has produced in several years. Wolf is also a very good backup option after his outstanding season with WHL Everett. The United States will need to trim off a few players from its preliminary options but it should be one of the strongest on the international stage.

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