With rosters for the upcoming World Junior tournament released in the next few weeks, Bob McKenzie of TSN took a look at the potential names for Team USA. The club is expected to be one of the favorites after taking home the gold medal last season at both the U20 and U18 events. McKenzie figures the top line to be a trio of Casey Mittelstadt–Logan Brown–Kailer Yamamoto, a group that would likely hold their own in the NHL let alone a junior tournament. Brown and Yamamoto both played in the NHL this season, while Mittelstadt is starring at the University of Minnesota.
One player McKenzie doesn’t mention is Sean Dhooghe, the 5’2″ forward that earned the respect of his teammates at San Jose prospect camp this summer. Dhooghe isn’t one to overlook because of his size though, as he has eight points in 17 games as an undrafted freshman for the University of Wisconsin, and led the U18 team in scoring at last year’s tournament. Dhooghe, 18, could also attend next year if he’s not selected this time around, as there is plenty of talent to choose from for this year’s tournament. It will be held in Buffalo starting December 26th.
- The NHL Department of Player Safety handed out $5,000 fines to both Patrick Kane and Mathew Dumba for their respective incidents last night, the maximum allowable under the CBA. Kane two-handed Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Ritchie as he went towards the bench and was assessed a minor penalty, while Dumba squirted water from the bench at Winnipeg Jets forward Joel Armia. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen fines handed out for water bottle antics, as Steven Stamkos and others were disciplined earlier in the year.
- Casey DeSmith was called up earlier today to fill in for Matt Murray in Pittsburgh, but it wasn’t clear how long the Penguins’ starting goaltender would be out. Turns out he’ll be out on a week-to-week basis, leaving the team with two rookies to fill the crease for the next while. Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette caught up with GM Jim Rutherford to ask if he’d be going after another goaltending option, but he seemed okay to trust Tristan Jarry and DeSmith for the time being. “Obviously now we’ll keep a closer watch on it. [Adding a veteran backup] is not something I’m trying to do right now,” said Rutherford, who is also involved in many rumors about defenseman Ian Cole. The Penguins aren’t a perfect hockey team at the moment, and Rutherford has long been known for his willingness to make trades when necessary. It will be interesting to see when (and if) he decides this is one of those times.