USA Hockey announces preliminary roster for World Junior Championship team

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer
Defenseman Seth Jones highlights the preliminary roster for the U.S. 2013 World Junior Championship team. (Getty Images)

USA Hockey announced its preliminary roster for the 2013 World Junior Championships on Tuesday morning.

The U.S. team is coming off a 2012 performance that saw it win just one of its four opening-round games, an 11-3 win over Denmark in the opener. The team then lost to the Czech Republic, Finland and Canada.

The 2013 team will be coached by Hockey Hall of Famer Phil Housley, and the tournament will open on Dec. 26 in Ufa, Russia.

Here are the 27 players who made the preliminary cut for the 2013 squad:

Goalies (3)

John Gibson
Jon Gillies
Garret Sparks

Defensemen (9)

Shayne Gost
Matt Grzelyck
Seth Jones
Jake McCabe
Connor Murphy
Mike Reilly
Patrick Sieloff
Brady Skjei
Jacob Trouba

Forwards (15)

Cole Bardreau
Riley Barber
Tyler Biggs
Alex Galchenyuk
John Gaudreau
Rocco Grimaldi
Ryan Hartman
Sean Kuraly
Mario Lucia
Stefan Matteau
J.T. Miller
Stefan Noesen
Blake Pietila
Vince Trocheck
Jim Vesey

The roster includes three members of the 2012 team: goaltender John Gibson, defenseman Jacob Trouba and forward J.T. Miller.

The most notable names on the roster have to be defenseman Seth Jones and forward Alex Galchenyuk.

Jones, a massive defenseman and the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, is projected to be the top pick (and perhaps at worst the No. 2 overall pick) in the 2013 draft.

Galchenyuk was the No. 3 overall pick in 2012 by the Montreal Canadiens and is putting on a scoring clinic in the Ontario Hockey League with 20 goals and 29 assists in 28 games for the Sarnia Sting.

Chris Peters wrote at United States of Hockey that there weren't really any surprises on the roster (which might have been a surprise itself) with the possible exception of Cornell forward Cole Bardreau. He will have an opportunity to make the final roster as a fourth-line center. He's the only player other than Jones (who is not yet draft eligible) who has no connection to an NHL team.

From Peters:

Some folks might be surprised to see Cornell's Cole Bardreau, but his selection makes sense as a fourth-line center. That's the spot he'll be battling for. Bardreau plays with speed and physicality and has some great defensive sense. At the 2011 World Under-18 Championship, Bardreau saw significant time against Russia's line of Nail Yakupov, Nikita Kucherov and Mikhail Grigorenko and along with Blake Pietila, shut them down almost completely. So he has a track record and has been doing it at Cornell too. He's a role player with grit and jump.

The U.S. is expected to keep three goalies, seven defensemen and 13 forwards on its final roster.

Along with Galchenyuk, the team also includes seven other recent first-round draft picks: Connor Murphy (Phoenix 2011), Brady Skjei (New York Rangers 2012), Jacob Trouba (Winnipeg 2012), Tyler Biggs (Toronto 2011), Stefan Matteau (New Jersey 2012), J.T. Miller (New York Rangers 2011), and Stefan Noesen (Ottawa 2011).

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