Earlier today USA Hockey released the names that make up their 29-player camp roster in advance of the 2010 World Junior Championship. It's a pretty cut and dried list but as always, there are a couple surprise names that appear on or were left off the team.
Here is the released list from USA Hockey.
Dean and I were exchanging our thoughts on the team and we both like the idea that there are just two goalies - they'll battle each other for the starting job but there is no pressure to actually make the team. Mike Lee (below), a frequent guest on The Pipeline Show last year, appears to have the inside track as he's a couple of year's older and more mature than Campbell.
As Dean pointed out to me, Brandon Maxwell doesn't make the cut. The former National team member who went north to the CHL is a quality keeper but after checking out his numbers this year (8-6-2, 3.43 GAA, .906 sv%), he might not even be the best goalie in Kitchener so I'm not all that surprised with USA Hockey's choice.
The blueline group has some big names on it; John Carlson (left) is a standout along with Jake Gardiner and John Moore - all first round NHL draft picks. Western College Hockey Blog suggested a final roster and for the backend, it looks pretty good to me.
USA will have a pretty decent group of forwards although I don't think it's nearly as good as the teams they've iced over the last few years. Jordan Schroeder is back for his third kick at the can but there's no James vanRiemsdyk or Colin Wilson this time around to make up that dominant top line.
I like Danny Kristo and I think he'll take on a much bigger role than he did last year in Ottawa. The Montreal prospect is creative and exciting to watch, he's a fun player.
I noticed Tyler Johnson's name on the invite list but couldn't help but notice that his teammate in Spokane, Mitch Wahl, did not make the cut. I am surprised by that considering he'd be one of a very short list of returning players and that he's also leading the Chiefs in scoring with 30 points. I talked to the Calgary Flames prospect ten days ago thinking he was a lock for the team and he said back then that he was looking forward to getting the chance but that he had to get an invite to camp first. Maybe Wahl (above) saw the writing on the... Wall.
Dean and I both like the fact that USA Hockey was able to let by-gones be by-gones in the case of Kyle Palmieri. He was kicked off the U18 team last year for breaking team rules but we give credit to the organization for not black balling Palmieri - unlike Hockey Canada's annual snubbing of forward Kyle Beach.
The last thing I want to bring up is just in regards to something I noticed in the USA Hockey release that is bugging me a bit. Here's how they have made mention of some of the players who are on the team... see if you can guess what's got me a little put off:
"Among those invited to Grand Forks are three returning forwards from the 2009 U.S. National Junior Team, including Tyler Johnson (Spokane, Wash.), Danny Kristo (Eden Prairie, Minn./University of North Dakota), and Jordan Schroeder (Prior Lake, Minn./University of Minnesota).Is there any reason that USA Hockey refuses to list the club team for the players who are in the CHL? Is it really that painful to see Jeremy Morin, Tyler Johnson, Cam Fowler or John Moore playing Major Junior that you actually omit the name of their team? Really??
Also highlighting the preliminary roster are nine players from the gold medal-winning 2009 U.S. National Under-18 Team, including forwards Ryan Bourque (Boxford, Mass.), Chris Brown (Houston, Texas/University of Michigan), Jerry D'Amigo (Binghamton, N.Y./Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Jeremy Morin (Auburn, N.Y.), and Jason Zucker (Las Vegas, Nev.); defensemen Cam Fowler (Farmington Hills, Mich.), Jon Merrill (Brighton, Mich.), and John Ramage (St. Louis, Mo./University of Wisconsin); and goalie Jack Campbell (Port Huron, Mich.)."
Jeremy Morin (Auburn, N.Y./Kitchener Rangers)... hey look! I wrote it and I didn't burst into flames or anything!!
It's not a big thing but in my opinion it makes USA Hockey look really petty. How about being happy that your National Program has helped advance players to the next level, even if that has led them somewhere other than the NCAA?