Turcotte, Caufield lead United States World Junior Championship roster

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Alex Turcotte, selected by the Los Angeles Kings with the No. 5 pick of the 2019 NHL Draft, is one of eight players returning for the United States at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The forward, who was named to the final 25-player roster announced Saturday, had two assists in five games at the 2020 World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic. 

The United States finished sixth at the 2020 WJC, ending a run of four straight tournaments with a top-three finish that included the 2017 tournament championship.

“I think one of my problems last year was I was a little too hard on myself and I think it ate away at me a little bit,” Turcotte said. “It’s a huge tournament and everyone in the whole world that follows hockey is watching it and I think just enjoying the moment, having fun, bonding with the guys and trying to win a gold medal is all you can control. That’s what I was trying to do at select camp and it’s been a lot of fun so far.”

Joining Turcotte from the 2020 team are forwards Bobby Brink (Philadelphia Flyers), Cole Caufield (Montreal Canadiens), Arthur Kaliyev (Los Angeles Kings) and Trevor Zegras (Anaheim Ducks), defenseman Cameron York (Flyers) and goalies Spencer Knight (Florida Panthers) and Dustin Wolf (Calgary Flames).

Zegras led the United States at the 2020 WJC with nine points, all assists, in five games. Kaliyev was tied for first on the team with four goals and was third with six points.

The 2021 WJC is scheduled for Dec. 25-Jan. 5, 2021 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, without fans in attendance and in a secure zone similar to what the NHL used for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Teams are scheduled to arrive in Edmonton on Sunday.

“Our players and staff have done everything we’ve asked of them, all of the safety protocols and considerations, in order to make hockey the focus of our training camp,” United States general manager John Vanbiesbrouck said. “We had a great week of camp and we have certainly faced adversity, but we believe in these 25 players and we all have the same goal.”

The final roster includes 13 forwards, nine defensemen and three goalies.

The roster includes two players eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft: forward Matthew Beniers of the University of Michigan (Big Ten) and goalie Logan Stein of Ferris State University (Western Collegiate Hockey Association). Beniers (6-foot-1, 174 pounds) is an A-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary players to watch list. Players with an A rating are considered potential first-round picks.

The United States will play its preliminary-round games in group Group A, starting with Russia on Dec. 25, followed by games against Austria (Dec. 26), the Czech Republic (Dec. 29) and Sweden (Dec. 31).

The top four teams in each group will play in the quarterfinals Jan. 2. The semifinals will take place on Jan. 4, and the championship and third-place games on Jan. 5.

Four players were cut from the roster Saturday: forwards John Beecher (Boston Bruins), Thomas Bordeleau (San Jose Sharks) and Nicholas Robertson (Toronto Maple Leafs), and defenseman Cameron McDonald (2021 draft eligible). Robertson wasn’t made available by the Maple Leafs to the U.S. National Junior Team.

UNITED STATES WJC ROSTER

GOALIES: Spencer Knight, Boston College, HE (Florida Panthers); Logan Stein, Ferris State, WCHA (2021 draft eligible); Dustin Wolf, Everett, WHL (Calgary Flames)

DEFENSEMEN: Brock Faber, Minnesota, Big Ten (Los Angeles Kings); Drew Helleson, Boston College, HE (Colorado Avalanche); Ryan Johnson, Minnesota, Big Ten (Buffalo Sabres); Tyler Kleven, North Dakota, NCHC (Ottawa Senators); Jackson LaCombe, Minnesota, Big Ten (Anaheim Ducks); Jake Sanderson, North Dakota, NCHC (Ottawa Senators); Hunter Skinner, London, OHL (New York Rangers); Henry Thrun, Dubuque, USHL (Anaheim Ducks); Cameron York, Michigan, Big Ten (Philadelphia Flyers)

FORWARDS: Matthew Beniers, Michigan, Big Ten (2021 draft eligible); Brett Berard, Providence, HE (New York Rangers); Matthew Boldy, Boston College, HE (Minnesota Wild); Bobby Brink, Denver, NCHC (Philadelphia Flyers); Brendan Brisson, Michigan, Big Ten (Vegas Golden Knights); Cole Caufield, Wisconsin, Big Ten (Montreal Canadiens); Sam Colangelo, Northeastern, HE (Anaheim Ducks); John Farinacci, Muskegon, USHL (Arizona Coyotes); Arthur Kaliyev, Hamilton, OHL (Los Angeles Kings); Patrick Moynihan, Providence, HE (New Jersey Devils); Landon Slaggert, Notre Dame, CCHA (Chicago Blackhawks); Alex Turcotte, Eisbaren Berlin, DEL (Los Angeles Kings); Trevor Zegras, San Diego, AHL (Anaheim Ducks)

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