2014 WJC Video: Brady Skjei and Jon Gillies, USA

By Chapin Landvogt

Brady Skjei - Team USA

Photo: University of Minnesota defenseman and New York Rangers prospect Brady Skjei is playing for his college head coach, Don Lucia, at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Chapin Landvogt/HF)

Team USA successfully began their defense of last year's gold medal at the World Junior Championship with a 5-1 win over the Czech Republic on the first day of the 2014 WJC.

USA goaltender Jon Gillies was steady in goal, stopping 23 of 24 shots fired his way by the Czechs. He is expected to carry the load for the U.S. squad at this WJC after being the understudy to John Gibson at least year's tournament. Gillies, a Calgary Flames prospect, has been impressive this season playing for Providence College in the Hockey East conference, so USA head coach Don Lucia is hoping that Gillies will continue his strong play at this WJC.

Defenseman Brady Skjei didn't get his name on the scoresheet against the Czechs, but he isn't necessarily being looked to for offensive fireworks. Instead, the University of Minnesota player and New York Rangers prospect will provide solid defensive play for the U.S., aiding Gillies in neutralizing their WJC opponents.

Gillies and Skjei spoke with the media following the win over the Czech Republic, with some of their comments included in this Hockey's Future video.

Follow Chapin Landvogt on Twitter via @Csomichapin