USA Hockey this morning announced the names of 22 players who will be representing the United States in the World Junior Championships starting the day after Christmas in Buffalo, NY.
Wisconsin Sophomore defenseman John Ramage has been named to the team for the second consecutive year. It is the ninth consecutive season that the Wisconsin Badgers have had a representative on Team USA.
Last season as a member of the USA WJC, Ramage and his American teammates were able to capture the gold on Canadian soil.
Looking for it's first repeat gold medal in this country's history, the United States will be led by eight returning players. No doubt most importantly, goaltender Jack Campbell who has been nothing short of brilliant in international competitions in his career will be looked upon as the back bone for the team.
Ramage, the only returning defenseman is also going to be counted upon for significant minutes for the red, white, and blue. A surprise selection last season, it was Ramage who assisted on the game winning goal in overtime vs Canada in one of, if not the best hockey game that I've ever witnessed.
Offensively team USA brings back 6 forwards including three pro players in Jeremy Morin, Jerry D'Amigo and Kyle Palmieri. Ryan Bourque, Chris Kreider, and Jason Zucker also return for the stars and stripes.
Wisconsin once again will be represented in on the coaching staff and in management. Former Badger player and assistant coach Mark Osiecki is an assistant coach for the second year in a row and former Badger Jim Johannson is the Team GM, also for the second consecutive season.
Team USA wraps up it's exhibition schedule on Thursday against Norway. They open up pool play on Sunday night vs Finland. All team USA games can be seen live on the NHL Network.
Seven WCHA players have been named team USA. Denver (Drew Shore, Jason Zucker) and North Dakota (Derek Forbort, Brock Nelson) have two players each, Wisconsin (Ramage), Minnesota (Nick Bjugstad), Minnesota-Duluth (Justin Faulk) all have one. Colorado College forward Jaden Schwartz and Minnesota-Duluth defenseman Dylan Olsen have been named to Team Canada. Also, Minnesota forward Erick Haula is playing for Finland.
Team USA Schedule (Central Time):
Sunday (12/26) vs Finland 7:00 PM HBC Arena-NHL Network
Tuesday (12/28) vs Slovakia 7:00 PM HBC Arena-NHL Network
Thursday (12/30) vs Germany 6:00 PM HBC Arena-NHL Network
Friday (12/31) vs Switzerland 7:00 PM HBC Arena-NHL Network
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