The 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship is scheduled for Dec. 25-Jan. 5 at Rogers Place in Edmonton. To celebrate the tournament, which was first contested in 1974, NHL.com has compiled an all-time starting lineup for some of the participating countries based solely on the players’ performances at the World Juniors. Today, we look at the ideal three forwards, two defensemen and goalie to start a game for the United States.
Tournaments: 1988, 1989
Statistics: 14 games, 13-12-25
Roenick was the first U.S. player to lead the tournament in scoring when he had 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in seven games in 1989, and was the second U.S. forward to make the tournament all-star team (Scott Young, 1987). He also led the United States with nine points (five goals, four assists) in seven games at the 1988 WJC. Roenick’s 13 goals are the most ever by a U.S. player at the World Juniors, and his 25 points are second (Jordan Schroeder, 27). The center played 20 NHL seasons with five teams.
Tournaments: 2003, 2004
Statistics: 13 games, 9-10-19
Parise tied Nigel Dawes and Anthony Stewart of Canada for the 2004 WJC lead with 11 points (five goals, six assists) in seven games and was named the tournament’s MVP and best forward after helping the United States win its first championship. He also scored eight points (four goals, four assists) in seven games at the 2003 WJC. The left wing will play for the Minnesota Wild this season, his 16th in the NHL.
Statistics: Seven games, 5-14-19
Weight’s 19 points led the 1991 WJC, set a U.S. single-tournament record and are tied for the seventh-most by any player. His 14 assists are tied with Esa Keskinen of Finland for second-most in one tournament, behind Peter Forsberg of Sweden (24, 1993). The center played 19 NHL seasons with six teams.
Jordan Schroeder: 19 games (2008, 2009, 2010), 7-20-27; Derek Stepan: 7 games (2010), 4-10-14; Mike Modano: 14 games (1988, 1989), 10-10-20
Tournaments: 2006, 2007
Statistics: 14 games, 5-9-14
Johnson was named the best defensemen at the 2007 WJC after leading all players at the position in points (10), goals (four) and assists (six). He tied Tom Pederson (1989) for most points in a WJC by a U.S. defenseman. Johnson also scored four points (one goal, three assists) at the 2006 WJC and is the highest-scoring U.S. defenseman in tournament history. He will play for the Colorado Avalanche this season, his 13th in the NHL.
Tournaments: 2012, 2013
Statistics: 13 games, 4-7-11
Trouba was named the best defenseman and helped the United States win the 2013 WJC. He led all defensemen in goals (four) and points (nine), and made the tournament all-star team. Trouba will play for the New York Rangers this season, his eighth in the NHL.
Ryan Suter: 20 games (2003, 2004, 2005): 3-10-13; Zach Werenski: 12 games (2015, 2016), 3-8-11
Tournaments: 2012, 2013
Statistics: Eight games, 5-3, 1.70 GAA, .943 save percentage
Gibson allowed nine goals in seven games in 2013, when he was named the best goalie and tournament MVP after helping the United States win the WJC. His .955 save percentage that year is the second-best in a single WJC among goalies to play at least five games, behind Carey Price of Canada (.961, 2007). Gibson played one game in 2012 as Jack Campbell‘s backup. He will play for the Anaheim Ducks this season, his eighth in the NHL.
Jack Campbell: 14 games (2010, 2011, 2012), 10-4, 2.20 GAA, .925 save percentage