A number of final rosters for the upcoming 2020 World Junior Championship have been revealed this morning, as the best U-20 players in the world prepare to compete later this month. Team USA gets us started, as USA Hockey has announced their finalized group. The roster is entirely comprised of NHL draft picks and presumptive 2021 selections, including sixteen players drafted in the first or second round, as well as 22 NCAA players. Below is the final roster:
F Matthew Beniers, Univ. of Michigan (2021)
F Brett Berard, Providence College (NYR)
F Matthew Boldy, Boston College (MIN)
F Bobby Brink, Univ. of Denver (PHI)
F Brendan Brisson, Univ. of Michigan (VGK)
F Cole Caufield, Univ. of Wisconsin (MTL)
F Sam Colangelo, Northeastern Univ. (ANA)
F John Farinacci, Harvard Univ. (ARI)
F Arthur Kaliyev, Hamilton Bulldogs (LAK)
F Patrick Moynihan, Providence College (NJD)
F Landon Slaggert, Univ. of Notre Dame (CHI)
F Alex Turcotte, Los Angeles Kings
F Trevor Zegras, Boston Univ. (ANA)
D Brock Faber, Univ. of Minnesota (LAK)
D Drew Helleson, Boston College (COL)
D Ryan Johnson, Univ. of Minnesota (BUF)
D Tyler Kleven, Univ. of North Dakota (OTT)
D Jackson LaCombe, Univ. of Minnesota (ANA)
D Jake Sanderson, Univ. of North Dakota (OTT)
D Hunter Skinner, London Knights (NYR)
D Henry Thrun, Harvard Univ. (ANA)
D Cam York, Univ. of Michigan (PHI)
G Spencer Knight, Boston College (FLA)
G Logan Stein, Ferris State Univ. (2021)
G Dustin Wolf, Everett Silvertips (CGY)
The roster, which includes eight holdovers from last year’s squad and Knight returning for a third go-round, includes few surprises. As expected, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nick Robertson will not be a member of the team as he is instead expected to compete for a roster spot in NHL camp, anticipated to begin toward the conclusion of the WJC. The L.A. Kings’ Turcotte was not given the same treatment, as he will compete for Team USA and then head to camp.
The other glaring omission is Boston Bruins prospect Johnny Beecher, who played for the WJC entry last year and had been in camp this year. The Boston Globe’s Matt Porter reports that Beecher tested positive for COVID-19, ending his bid for a roster spot. The loss could hurt the U.S., as teammate Caufield told The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler recently that he expected Beecher to play a big role for the team this year.
While the University of Michigan boasts an impressive three WJC selections for Team USA, Beecher and Thomas Bordeleau (SJS) were among the final cuts. The other player left off the final roster was undrafted defenseman Cam McDonald, who would have been the third inclusion from Providence College to join head coach Nate Leaman’s WJC team. Wheeler reports that Team USA GM John Vanbiesbrouck would have preferred 14 forwards and eight defenseman to their 13 forwards and nine defensemen, but that COVID protocols led to this final roster, insinuating that Beecher’s positive test likely led to roomate Bordeleau’s cut as well.
Among the 15 NHL teams represented on Team USA are four prospects from the Anaheim Ducks, a trio from the L.A. Kings, and four other clubs with multiple selections.