Minnesota is well-represented in today’s announcement of the U.S. National Under-18 Team. The team is headlined by top prospect Jack Eichel, who is expected to go number one or two, along with Connor McDavid, in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
The Minnesotans on the team include defensemen Ryan Collins (Bloomington), Jack Dougherty (Cottage Grove), and Jack Glover (Golden Valley), as well as forward Shane Gersich (Chaska).
The U.S. team has taken home top honors in four of the last five tournaments, winning four straight before taking silver last year in Sochi, Russia. They’ve finished in the top three in each of the last ten years.
Here’s a look at the full roster from the USA Hockey website with five players from New York and four from Minnesota:
The roster for Team USA carries seven defensemen, including Louie Belpedio (Skokie, Ill.), Ryan Collins (Bloomington, Minn.), Jack Dougherty (Cottage Grove, Minn.), Brandon Fortunato (North Hills, N.Y.), Jack Glover (Golden Valley, Minn.), Noah Hanifin (Norwood, Mass.) and Johnathan MacLeod (Dracut, Mass.).
Eichel is among the group of 13 forwards, which also includes Anders Bjork (Mequon, Wis.), Kyle Connor (Shelby Township, Mich.), Jared Fiegl (Parker, Colo.), Shane Gersich (Chaska, Minn.), Ryan Hitchcock (Manhasset, N.Y.), Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich.), Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y.), Dylan Pavelek (Marysville, Mich.), Nolan Stevens (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) and Joe Wegwerth (Brewster, N.Y.).
Backstopping Team USA will be goaltenders Edwin Minney (Wind Gap, Pa.) and Alex Nedeljkovic (Parma, Ohio).
The tournament will take place in Lappeenranta, Finland from April 17-27 and will be broadcast online at usahockey.fasthockey.com.
The U.S. opens the tournament on April 17 against Switzerland at 8am EST. Full schedule below:
04.17 against Switzerland, 8am EST
04.19 against Czech Republic, 8am EST
04.20 against Denmark, 11:30am EST
04.22 against Finland, 11:30am EST
04.24 Quarterfinals, TBD
04.26 Semifinals, TBD
04.27 Bronze-Medal Match, 8am EST
04.27 Gold-Medal Match, 12pm EST