The World Junior Championship is set to start tomorrow and Team USA Now has a captain to lead them into battle against Russia in their first game. Philadelphia Flyers prospect Cam York has been given the “C” and he will be joined by alternates Cole Caufield and Alex Turcotte. Head coach Nate Leaman explained what an honor it is to be named captain:
It says a lot about this leadership group being voted in by their teammates. It’s a tremendous honor to be named captains and represent your country. This isn’t our team, this is their team. I believe our locker room is filled with leaders, and to be successful each guy will need to step up and be a leader in their own way, whether wearing a letter or not.
York, 19, was the 14th overall pick of the 2019 draft, selected by Philadelphia out of the USNTDP. He’s currently at the University of Michigan, where he earned conference All-Rookie honors last season and has five points in eight games this year. The smooth-skating defenseman was part of the U.S. team that disappointed a year ago but is back for revenge this time around.
Caufield, one of the most-hyped prospects in college hockey, returns to the tournament after scoring just a single goal last year. The undersized forward is an incredible sniper that is able to put the puck in the net in a thousand different ways and will be extremely difficult to contain at the event. Selected 15th overall by the Montreal Canadiens in 2019, he could be operating at the sidewall of an NHL powerplay before long.
Turcotte, the highest drafted of the three, went fifth overall to the Los Angeles Kings in 2019 and was a teammate of Caufield at Wisconsin last season. The 19-year-old signed his entry-level contract in March and will attempt to make the Kings out of training camp this year, but first has his eye on gold at the upcoming tournament.
Even though they were denied access to some top names, the U.S. squad looks extremely dangerous this time around. Caufield was named player of the match in the team’s exhibition game against Finland earlier this week when they won 3-2, with Trevor Zegras dazzling with his playmaking once again.