USA Hockey has announced the 25 players who’ll suit up for the Americans at the world junior hockey championship in Edmonton.
The roster includes 13 forwards, nine defencemen and three goalies, but one name absent from the list is Leafs prospect Nick Robertson.
The 19-year-old left-winger was part of the U.S. squad that finished sixth at the 2020 tournament in the Czech Republic.
Included in this year’s lineup is Montreal Canadiens prospect Cole Caufield, one of eight players to make the U.S. team two years in a row.
Goalie Spencer Knight, drafted by Florida in 2019, is preparing to make his third world junior appearance after taking home silver with the Americans at the 2019 tournament in Vancouver.
Ideally, TOR would like to have Robertson in the WJC but the top priority for the team, and presumably the player himself, is to try to make Leafs 2021 roster. If the projected NHL RTP date of Jan. 13 is reality, camps would open late Dec/early Jan. WJC gold medal game is Jan. 5.
This year’s team also includes defencemen Jake Sanderson, picked fifth overall by Ottawa in the 2020 NHL draft, and Tyler Kleven, who the Senators selected in the second round this year.
The U.S. will play its first game of the tournament against Russia on Dec. 25. The team will also face Austria, the Czech Republic and Sweden in group action.
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All 10 teams are scheduled to arrive in the Edmonton “bubble” on Sunday. They will undergo five days of quarantine and daily tests before being allowed to hit the ice.
The U.S. team’s players and staff were careful to follow safety protocols and considerations in order to focus on hockey at training camp, said U.S. general manager John Vanbiesbrouck.
“We had a great week of camp and we have certainly faced adersity, but we believe in these 25 players and we all have the same goal,” he said in a statement.