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NHL.com: Watson Invited To US World Junior Camp

Monday, 12.5.2011 / 11:03 PM CT / News
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NHL.com: Watson Invited To US World Junior Camp
Armed with eight returning players, eight first-round NHL draft picks and a few promising prospects eligible for future NHL drafts, USA Hockey on Monday announced its 30-player roster for a preliminary camp that will serve as the final tryout for the team that will represent the U.S. at the IIHF 2012 World Junior Championship. Nashville Predators 2010 First Round selection Austin Watson was among the 17 forwards invited to the camp.


The U.S. will play its preliminary-round games at Rexall Place in Edmonton. The medal round will be held at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary

Dec. 26 - U.S. vs. Denmark
Dec. 28 - U.S. vs. Finland
Dec. 30 - U.S. vs. Czech Republic
Dec. 31 - U.S. vs. Canada
Jan. 2 - Quarterfinals
Jan. 3 - Semifinals
Jan. 5 - Gold medal/bronze medal games
Team USA's training camp will take place Dec. 17-23 at the Edgeworth Centre in Camrose, Alta. The club also will play three exhibition games -- in Red Deer, Alta., against Russia on Dec. 20; in Camrose against Switzerland on Dec. 21; and in Three Hills, Alta., against Slovakia on Dec. 23.

The final 22-player roster for the tournament is expected to be announced Dec. 22.

Team USA followed its gold medal in Saskatoon at the 2010 WJC with the bronze medal last year in Buffalo, making it the first time in the 35-year history of the tournament that the U.S. has won medals in consecutive tournaments. They'll hope for a medal three-peat when the 2012 WJC is held Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2012 in Edmonton and Calgary.

The U.S. will play in Group B, along with Denmark, Finland, the Czech Republic and Canada. Group A will consist of Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia and Latvia.

Team USA General Manager Jim Johannson and coach Dean Blais announced the 30-player roster exclusively on NHL Network's Cisco NHL Live.

"This roster balances out very well," Johannson told NHL Live on Monday. "I think we have some guys who are exceptional offensive players and some other guys that have shown they are very hard to play against but can skate well and have a real strong defensive game. We're very excited to see what this group of players brings to camp."

Returning from last year's team are goalie Jack Campbell of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL), defensemen Justin Faulk of the Carolina Hurricanes, Derek Forbort of the University of North Dakota (WCHA) and Jonathon Merrill of the University of Michigan (CCHA), along with forwards Nick Bjugstad of the University of Minnesota (WCHA), Emerson Etem of the Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL), Charlie Coyle of Boston University (HE) and Jason Zucker of the University of Denver (WCHA). Zucker also won a gold medal with the 2010 WJC team.

Faulk was named to the preliminary roster pending release by the Hurricanes. Cornell University's Andy Iles, who was the backup to Campbell at the 2011 WJC, is the team's emergency goaltender and will not attend the pre-tournament camp.

"We're hopeful [on Faulk]," Johannson said. "Carolina has been great. We've had other players in similar situations and it's always what works out best for the player. It's a win-win situation. If he plays in NHL, that's another another American playing in the league. If he's on our team, he'd been a great addition and bring a lot."


GOALIES -- Jack Campbell, Sault Ste. Marie, OHL (Dallas); John Gibson, Kitchener, OHL (Anaheim), *Andy Iles, Cornell University, ECAC (2012 draft eligible)

DEFENSEMEN -- Adam Clendening, Boston University, HE (Chicago); Justin Faulk, Carolina, NHL; Derek Forbort, North Dakota, WCHA (Los Angeles); Kevin Gravel, St. Cloud State, WCHA (Los Angeles); Stephen Johns, Notre Dame, CCHA (Chicago); Seth Jones, USNTDP U-18, USHL (2013 draft eligible); Austin Levi, Plymouth, OHL (Carolina); Jonathon Merrill, Michigan, CCHA (New Jersey); Jarred Tinordi, London, OHL (Montreal); Jacob Trouba, USNTDP U-18, USHL (2012 draft eligible)

FORWARDS -- Kenny Agostino, Yale, ECAC (Pittsburgh); Josh Archibald, Nebraska-Omaha, WCHA (Pittsburgh); Bill Arnold, Boston College, HE (Calgary); Nick Bjugstad, Minnesota, WCHA (Florida); Connor Brickley, Vermont, HE (Florida); Austin Czarnik, Miami, CCHA (2012 draft eligible); Charlie Coyle, Boston University, HE (Minnesota); Emerson Etem, Medicine Hat, WHL (Anaheim); Brian Ferlin, Cornell, ECAC (Boston); John Gaudreau, Boston College, HE (Calgary); J.T. Miller, Plymouth, OHL (N.Y. Rangers); Shane Prince, Ottawa, OHL (Ottawa); Kyle Rau, Minnesota, WCHA (Florida); Brandon Saad, Saginaw, OHL (Chicago); T.J. Tynan, Notre Dame, CCHA (Columbus); Austin Watson, Peterborough, OHL (Nashville); Jason Zucker, Denver, WCHA (Minnesota).

* Emergency backup, will not attend camp.
Campbell, who has worn the U.S. sweater in the last two WJC tournaments, was voted the Most Outstanding Goalie of the 2011 WJC after going 4-1-1 with a 1.70 goals-against average and .941 save percentage.

"Jack brings confidence and continues to push himself," Johannson said. "His compete level is like a Mike Richter. He doesn't want a puck to get by him whether practice or a game."

He went 1-1-1 with a 2.54 GAA and .923 save percentage in three games in 2010, but is best remembered for coming off the bench in place of starter Mike Lee 3:56 into the second period of the gold-medal game against Canada and making 32 saves on 34 shots to backstop the U.S. to the gold medal.

The U.S. roster also is full of recent first-round draftees. J.T. Miller was taken by the New York Rangers with the 15th pick of the 2011 Entry Draft. Campbell (No. 11, Dallas), Forbort (No. 15, Los Angeles), forward Austin Watson (No. 18, Nashville), Bjugstad (No. 19, Florida), Tinordi (No. 22, Montreal), Coyle (No. 28, San Jose/traded to Minnesota) and Etem (No. 29, Anaheim) all were taken in the first round of the 2010 draft.

Sixteen NHL teams will have at least one prospect at the camp, led by three each from the Florida Panthers (Bjugstad, University of Vermont forward Connor Brickley and University of Minnesota forward Kyle Rau) and the Chicago Blackhawks (Johns, Saginaw forward Brandon Saad and Boston University defenseman Adam Clendening). The Anaheim Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Calgary Flames, and Minnesota Wild will have two prospects each.

There are two promising 2012 NHL Draft prospects invited to camp, defenseman Jacob Trouba of the U.S. National Team Development Program's under-18 team (USHL) and forward Austin Czarnik of Miami University (CCHA). Additionally, top 2013 draft prospect Seth Jones, a defenseman with the USNTDP U-18 team, earned an invite.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

Author: Mike G. Morreale | NHL.com Staff Writer





1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33