Team USA announces its World Junior roster

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USA Hockey announced its final 23-player roster for the 2017 World Junior championships that will begin on Monday.

Team general manager Jim Johannson said the talent level in the United States is currently among the best in the world, and their difficulty in assembling this roster spoke to that.

The team will be coached by St. Cloud State head coach Bob Motzko, and the roster has a heavy NCAA influence with 19 of the 23 players on the final roster currently playing collegiate hockey in the United States. Only three players are currently playing major junior hockey, while (forward Jack Roslovic) is playing in the American Hockey League.

Boston University alone has six players on the roster.

Arizona Coyotes first-round draft pick Clayton Keller (pictured above) is one of the players that headlines the roster.

Here is a look at the final roster.


Tyler Parsons, London Knights (Calgary Flames)

Jake Oettinger, Boston University (2017 draft)

Joseph Woll, Boston College (Toronto Maple Leafs)


Ryan Lindgren, University of Minnesota (Boston Bruins)

Jack Ahcan, St. Cloud State (2017 draft)

Caleb Jones, Portland Winterhawks (Edmonton Oilers)

Casey Fitzgerald, Boston College (Buffalo Sabres)

Adam Fox, Harvard University (Calgary Flames)

Charlie McAvoy, Boston University (Boston Bruins)

Joe Cecconi, University of Michigan (Dallas Stars)


Luke Kunin, University of Wisconson (Minnesota Wild)

Tanner Laczynski, Ohio State University (Philadelphia Flyers)

Patrick Harper, Boston University (Nashville Predators)

Jordan Greenway, Boston University (Minnesota Wild)

Joey Anderson, University of Minnesota-Duluth (New Jersey Devils)

Erik Foley, Providence College (Winnipeg Jets)

Jeremy Bracco, Kitchener Rangers (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Colin White, Boston College (Ottawa Senators)

Clayton Keller, Boston University (Arizona Coyotes)

Troy Terry, University of Denver (Anaheim Ducks)

Kieffer Bellows, Boston University (New York Islanders)

Jack Roslovic, Manitoba Moose (Winnipeg Jets)

Tage Thompson, University of Connecticut (St. Louis Blues)

The heavy NCAA influence on the roster is especially interesting when you look at who is not on the roster, especially when it comes to Alex Debrincat and Logan Brown.

DeBrincat, a second-round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2016, is one of the most dominant offensive players in junior hockey and is currently working on what should be his third consecutive 50-goal, 100-point season for the Erie Otters in the OHL. He had a tough showing at last year’s tournament, but he is still a potential game-breaker that the United States left at home, something that has become a habit at all levels of USA hockey in recent years.

The Brown decision is probably a little more understandable because he has been battling a wrist injury this season that has limited him to only 15 games for the Windsor Spitfires, but he and Debrincat are probably two of the best offensive players Team USA would have had at their disposal.

The Ottawa Senators selected Brown with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft.

The tournament opens on Monday and runs through January 5. It is being co-hosted by Toronto and Montreal.

The Buzzer: Eichel beats McDavid; More Vegas gold

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Player of the Night: Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres

So far in their careers, Connor McDavid comparisons haven’t been kind to Jack Eichel. To be fair, just about every other NHL player pales in comparison to McDavid, but Eichel gets it the worst because he was selected right behind McDavid in the 2015 NHL Draft.

McDavid’s enjoyed a deep playoff run and piled up some impressive hardware, yet Eichel got the best of number 97 for at least one night. As part of a 5-0 win for the Sabres against the Oilers, Eichel generated a goal and three assists.

If you haven’t noticed, Eichel’s been playing some of the best hockey even before Tuesday. With 10 points in his last five games, he’s enjoying the most productive stretch of his young career.

It was outrageous to place Buffalo’s blame on Eichel, so hopefully this torrid run at least turns down the volume on his critics.

Highlights of the Night:

We saw the nasty side of Brad Marchand with this questionable hit, but this goal was very, very nice:

This Shea Theodore outlet pass is so slick, it’s almost tough to keep your eye on it. William Karlsson scored yet again, and the Golden Knights won once again.

You may also enjoy Travis Konecny’s overtime game-winner, which you can check out here.


The Boston Bruins’ run continues, while the Avalanche’s winning streak ended.

Vegas Golden Knights zero in on more records for expansion teams. Remarkable stuff.

From remarkably great to almost unspeakably bad: how can the Oilers’ penalty kill be this ineffective?

Some key bits from tonight

Panthers, Stars brawl.

Canadiens end Avalanche’s winning streak at 10.

Flyers edge Red Wings in OT.

Possible injury for Joe Thornton?

Goalie injuries also cause for concern.


Bruins 3, Devils 2
Penguins 3, Hurricanes 1
Canadiens 4, Avalanche 2
Flyers 3, Red Wings 2 (OT)
Blues 3, Senators 0
Lightning 4, Predators 3 (OT)
Stars 6, Panthers 1
Sabres 5, Oilers 0
Canucks 6, Kings 2
Golden Knights 6, Blue Jackets 3
Ducks 6, Rangers 3
Jets 5, Sharks 4 (OT)

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Fights: Stars, Panthers pile up season-high 138 penalty minutes

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When you think of the Dallas Stars against the Florida Panthers, a few things might come to mind:

  • No state income taxes, if you’re an unrestricted free agent.
  • “Non-traditional franchises.”
  • Going further on that point, arguably examples of Gary Bettman’s vision in expanding the league’s scope.

You probably don’t think “blood rivals,” but maybe Tuesday will change that. Perhaps it was triggered in part by a misunderstanding about James Reimer‘s injury, or maybe because Antoine Roussel is Antoine Roussel, yet either way, things got pretty nasty between the Stars and Panthers on Tuesday.

The two teams piled up a whopping 138 penalty minutes in this one, which is great for lovers of chaos and/or fantasy hockey owners.

According to Sportsnet’s stats, that’s the highest combined PIM for a game so far in 2017-18. Somehow Matthew Tkachuk wasn’t even involved.

Again, it was a little senseless, which admittedly is sometimes the most entertaining form of violence.


The Stars pummeled the Panthers 6-1, by the way.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Sharks’ Hertl ejected; Joe Thornton injured?

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Brad Marchand isn’t the only player who delivered a questionable hit on Tuesday, as Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks is also likely to draw the attention of the Department of Player Safety.

Hertl received a game misconduct and major penalty for boarding Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, as you can see in the video above this post’s headline.

For whatever it’s worth, Hertl, 24, hasn’t been suspended in the NHL. It seems like Kulikov suffered at least some ill effects from the hit.

Some put at least a portion of blame on Kulikov for turning his back before the check.

Is the major penalty sufficient or should Hertl sit for that hit?

Update: The Jets ended up beating the Sharks 4-3 in overtime, but the bigger concern for San Jose is that Joe Thornton might be injured. More information may not come for a while.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Should Brad Marchand be suspended for elbow on Marcus Johansson?


Much has been made of Brad Marchand cleaning up his act, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Boston Bruins forward has totally stopped blurring the line between “physical” and “illegal” play.

Marchand was everywhere in the Bruins’ 3-2 win against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, and that was mostly in a good way, scoring a goal and an assist, easily leading all forwards with 20:06 time on ice.

Devils fans were unhappy when Marchand wasn’t penalized for a highly questionable elbow on forward Marcus Johansson. You can watch the infraction in the video above this post. You can also see it in GIF form below.

NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty reports that the Department of Player Safety is aware of the elbow, and supplemental discipline may come:

Again, many recall other incidents with Marchand, so plenty were unhappy with the situation:

What do you think? Is a suspension appropriate in this case?

More on the Bruins:How will they cope without Charlie McAvoy?

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.