COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey today announced the 22 members of the U.S. National Junior Team that will compete at the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2011-Jan. 5, 2012, in Edmonton and Calgary, Alta.
Among those on the U.S. roster are seven returning players from the bronze medal-winning 2011 U.S. National Junior Team, including goaltender Jack Campbell (Port Huron, Mich./Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds); defensemen Derek Forbort (Duluth, Minn./Univ. of North Dakota) and Jon Merrill (Brighton, Mich./Univ. of Michigan); and forwards Nick Bjugstad (Blaine, Minn./Univ. of Minnesota), Charlie Coyle (East Weymouth, Mass./Boston Univ.), Emerson Etem (Long Beach, Calif./Medicine Hat Tigers) and Jason Zucker (Las Vegas, Nev./Univ. of Denver).
Both Campbell and Zucker were also members of the gold medal-winning 2010 U.S. National Junior Team.
"Every year this decision seems to get harder," said Jim Johannson, general manager of the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team and also the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. "The number of talented players from which we get to form a team says a lot about hockey’s growth in the United States as a whole."
"Having been behind the bench when we won the gold medal two years ago, I can’t wait to get started again," said Dean Blais, head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. "This is an incredible group of players whose speed and tenacity should help us succeed in Edmonton and Calgary."
The U.S. will look to earn its third straight medal after capturing the bronze medal at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y., and the gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Saskatoon, Sask.
NOTES: The U.S. National Junior Team is currently in the midst of a pre-tournament camp taking place in Alberta, Canada. Team USA has already taken part in two pre-tournament games, and will play its final pre-tournament contest tomorrow (Dec. 23) against Slovakia in Three Hills, Alta. … The U.S. roster includes 15 first- or second-round NHL Entry Draft picks, including eight first-rounders … NHL Network U.S. will televise all Team USA games in the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship and 15 games total in the event. For the complete broadcast schedule, click here… Dean Blais, head men’s ice hockey coach at the University of Nebraska Omaha, is serving as head coach of the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team. He is assisted by Scott Sandelin, head men’s ice hockey coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth; Tom Ward, head ice hockey coach of the Shattuck-St. Mary’s School’s boys’ prep team; and Joe Exter, assistant men’s ice hockey coach at Ohio State University … Jim Johannson, USA Hockey’s assistant executive director of hockey operations, is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the third consecutive year. Tim Taylor (Guilford, Conn.), former U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team head coach and longtime Yale University men’s ice hockey team head coach, is also serving his third straight year as Team USA’s director of player personnel … The U.S. National Junior Team blog will include daily updates with game recaps, photos and multimedia content. The blog can be found here… Use the hashtag #USAWJC to join the conversation on Twitter.
Team USA 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship Schedule
Dec. 26 – Jan. 5 • Alberta, Canada
|Tues., Dec. 20||Russia^||Red Deer||L, 3-6||None|
|Wed., Dec. 21||Switzerland^||Camrose||W, 7-3||None|
|Fri., Dec. 23||Slovakia^||Three Hills||7 p.m.||None|
|Mon., Dec. 26||Denmark||Edmonton||6 p.m.||NHL Network U.S.|
|Wed., Dec. 28||Finland||Edmonton||1:30 p.m.||NHL Network U.S.|
|Fri., Dec. 30||Czech Republic||Edmonton||1:30 p.m.||NHL Network U.S.|
|Sat., Dec. 31||Canada||Edmonton||6 p.m.||NHL Network U.S.|
|Mon., Jan. 2||Quarterfinals||Calgary||TBD||NHL Network U.S.|
|Tues., Jan. 3||Semifinals||Calgary||TBD||NHL Network U.S.|
|Thurs., Jan. 5||Bronze-Medal Game||Calgary||1:30 p.m.||NHL Network U.S.|
|Gold-Medal Game||Calgary||6 p.m.||NHL Network U.S.|
*All games in Edmonton will be played at Rexall Place. All games in Calgary will be played at Scotiabank Saddledome.