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Mar 15Despite playoff exit – Erik Brännström hopes his season isn’t over
Mar 13The best team in junior hockey right now
Mar 11Expected trade gives undrafted Swedish prospect a better shot at the NHL
Mar 07Vegas’ prospect pool deepens with breakout season from Nicolas Hague
Mar 02For Dominik Kahun, strong Olympic performance could present NHL opportunity

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December 06, 2017

Americans look to finally come through on home ice 

The United States is in a golden age of hockey. 

In 2016, a record-breaking 12 American players selected in the first round of the NHL draft, led by Auston Matthews, who was selected first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs, and other top-10 talents Clayton Keller and Matthew Tkachuk. The previous year, Jack Eichel was taken second behind prodigy Connor McDavid, and Noah Hanifin and Zach Werenski weren’t far behind. 

And unsurprisingly, the immense amount of talent produced at the junior ranks by the American National Developmental Program has translated to international success never seen before by the country. Since 2010, the Americans have won three gold medals at the World Junior Championships, dwarfing the one gold medal the country had won in the previous 35 tournaments since its official inception in 1977. 

But the unprecedented level of success enjoyed by the United States National Program hasn’t been without valleys to go along with its peaks.

After winning gold in 2010 over Canada in front of their home crowd in Saskatoon, the Americans failed to follow through the following year at home in Buffalo, losing to Canada in the semifinals. The following year, the Americans ended up in the relegation round. In 2013, they beat Sweden in the gold medal game, then followed it up with back-to-back losses in the quarterfinals in 2014 and 2015. 

This winter, the United States will host the tournament in Buffalo as defending champions. Last year, they beat Canada in a thrilling gold medal game that featured the Americans rallying from two separate two-goal deficits to win the game in a shootout. 

Does that sound familiar? Just like in 2010, the United States stunned Canada in the gold medal game in front of their home fans. The following year’s tournament was held in Buffalo and there was a lot of hype surrounding the home team following it up with another gold medal on home soil. That didn’t happen. 

The Americans will look to flip the script this year in front of their home fans in Buffalo with a team consisting of a lot of new faces. At least 15 players from last year’s roster won’t be back. Among them a standout player like Clayton Keller who is still eligible to participate, but is enjoying an excellent rookie seasons in the NHL with the Arizona Coyotes, and will not be back for obvious reasons. 

Casey Mittelstadt. Photo: Getty Images/Bruce Bennett

Players who figure to return to this year’s squad in Buffalo are goaltenders Jake Oettinger (who was a third-string) and Joseph Woll, defencemen Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren, and forwards Joseph Anderson, Kieffer Bellows, and Patrick Harper. That isn’t a very big group of veterans, but still, the Americans have a load of fresh talent available to them for this year’s tournament to choose from. 

Particularity, a major strength of the American roster will be a gauntlet of highly-skilled forwards. At the forefront of that is Casey Mittelstadt, the eighth overall pick of the Buffalo Sabres at the 2017 NHL draft. He wasn’t on the American team last year, but he’ll likely have a big opportunity to be a dynamic force on the team in front of hoards of excited Sabres fans. There’s also Kailer Yamamoto and Josh Norris, first-round picks of the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks in 2017, and Logan Brown, the 11th overall pick by the Ottawa Senators from the American-heavy 2016 draft. 

Another interesting thing to watch from the Americans this year is future draft eligible players. On last year’s team, Oettinger was the only 2017 draft-eligible player on the roster. Otherwise, it was a team loaded with 19- and 20-year-olds who had already been drafted. This year, the United States is poised to be well-represented at the top of the draft yet again, and 18-year-olds Brady Tkachuk and Quinton Hughes could crack a spot on the American roster. 

Regardless, it’ll be a new-look American team from the one that captured gold from Canada’s grasp last year in Montreal. Every other time that the United States has retuned home following a gold medal win, the team has failed to live up to the hype. Could this be the year that changes? They have the talent available and it would certainly be the escalation point on the American golden age of hockey if they could. 

Jake Oettinger, Boston University (NCAA)
Joseph Woll, Boston College (NCAA)
Jeremy Swayman, University of Maine (NCAA)

Michael Anderson, University of Minnesota Duluth (NCAA)
Adam Fox, Harvard University (NCAA)
Quinn Hughes, University of Michigan (NCAA)
Cole Hults, Penn State University (NCAA)
Philip Kemp, Yale University (NCAA)
Ryan Lindgren, University of Minnesota (NCAA)
Andrew Peeke, University of Notre Dame (NCAA)
Scott Perunovich, University of Minnesota Duluth (NCAA)
Dylan Samberg, University of Minnesota Duluth (NCAA)
Reilly Walsh, Harvard University (NCAA)

Joseph Anderson, University of Minnesota Duluth (NCAA)
Jack Badini, Chicago Steel (USHL)
Kieffer Bellows, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
Logan Brown, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
Trent Fredric. University of Wisconsin (NCAA)
Patrick Harper, Boston University (NCAA)
Max Jones, London Knights (OHL)
William Lockwood, University of Michigan (NCAA)
Hugh McGing, Western Michigan University (NCAA)
Casey Mittelstadt, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)
Joshua Norris, University of Michigan (NCAA)
Ryan Poehling, St. Cloud State University (NCAA)
Brady Tkachuk, U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL)
Riley Tufte, University of Minnesota Duluth (NCAA)
Kailer Yamamoto, Spokane Chiefs (WHL)

* 28 players were selected for the preliminary roster. 23 of those will participate in the 2018 WJC. The last cuts will be made before the tournament starts on December 26th.

Cam Lewis – @cooom

15 March, 2018

Despite playoff exit – Erik Brännström hopes his season isn’t over

March 14th is no date to end your hockey season. For Vegas Golden Knights’ prospect Erik Brännström, it’s way too early. The slick defensemen experi...

13 March, 2018

The best team in junior hockey right now

The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds have lost seven games in regulation all season. Yes, you read that right. Seven losses in regulation, total. How many games they...

11 March, 2018

Expected trade gives undrafted Swedish prospect a better shot at the NHL

It was an unique situation. Sure, Victor Ejdsell had a great season, winning the  scoring title after piling up 57 points (25+32) with Bik Karlskoga. Still, the...

07 March, 2018

Vegas’ prospect pool deepens with breakout season from Nicolas Hague

Much has been said about Vegas Golden Knights? inaugural season, and deservedly so. The team everyone deemed unlikely to even make the playoffs currently leads ...

02 March, 2018

For Dominik Kahun, strong Olympic performance could present NHL opportunity

If you found yourself growing increasingly impressed by Germany while watching the Olympic Mens’ Ice Hockey tournament unfold, I got news for you: you wer...

28 February, 2018

Capitals’ goalie-of-the-future has his eyes set on the NHL

Goalies usually peak later than other players and, hence, drafting them can be a tougher task. One of the top goalies in the world, Sergei Bobrovski, was never ...

23 February, 2018

Is Filip Zadina the best forward in the 2018 NHL Draft?

You couldn?t help but notice him out there. Shift after shift, game after game. Wearing number 18 for the Czech Republic, there was never a moment where 18-year...

21 February, 2018

A beginner’s guide to prospect development in the United States

In what is now to be considered an article series, this second edition of ?Beginner?s guide? takes us to the United States where we take a look at how domestic ...

19 February, 2018

Maple Leafs’ Russian prospect looks ready for North America

When he was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second day of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Yegor Korshkov wasn?t keen on moving overseas yet: ?I wouldn?t...

15 February, 2018

Will the star-studded, new-look Frontenacs be a playoff threat?

It doesn?t take much to realize that the Kingston Frontenacs are going for it all this season.  Currently sitting fifth in the OHL in points, the team?s trade d...

15 February, 2018

Heiskanen carries burden of expectation going into Olympics, NHL career

Few prospects carry the same aura of expectation as young blueliner Miro Heiskanen. While the Dallas Stars? 3rd overall pick in the 2017 draft likely holds hims...

13 February, 2018

Erik Karlsson’s homage to Rasmus Dahlin: “He’s much better than I was at that age”

As Rasmus Dahlin prepared himself for the next big adventure in his young career, the player he has idolized and patterned some of his game after while growing ...

12 February, 2018

Has the grind gotten to Eeli Tolvanen ahead of the Olympics?

Months ago, ahead of the 2018 WJC, we published a story on who we believed would win the scoring trophy at said tournament. The candidates chosen for the piece ...

10 February, 2018

Why Vancouver Canucks fans will love Jonathan Dahén

 It was unquestionably a strange sight. As crowds were pouring out of NHK Arena, satisfied with hometown team Timrå IK’s convincing 2-0 victory over hated...

09 February, 2018

What’s going on with Dylan Strome?

In a normal draft year, Dylan Strome would have been selected first overall. But 2015 was far from a normal draft year. A generational talent named Connor McDav...

07 February, 2018

Kapanen eager to establish himself in Toronto

Kasperi Kapanen got himself open at center ice, smoothly picked up the breakout pass from Auston Matthews and quickly blazed up the left wing. With every stride...

04 February, 2018

Europe vs. North America – who’ll have the first goaltender in the 2018 draft?

Rarely do you see a goaltender get selected in the first round of the NHL draft. Well, rarely is a somewhat strong word for it, but in the context of comparing ...

03 February, 2018

The steal of the 2017 draft – Eeli Tolvanen looks NHL ready

In European hockey, a huge debate is always tied to the question whether the most promising players should move overseas or keep on developing at home. While th...

02 February, 2018

Kailer Yamamoto has hit his stride in the WHL 

Kailer Yamamoto took a wicked slash from Oskar Steen in the dying seconds of the United States? semifinal loss to Sweden at the World Juniors in Buffalo. It loo...

01 February, 2018

Not an afterthought anymore – Swedish sniper looks to give Sabres value

When he was drafted 181st overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2014 NHL draft, Victor Olofson was an afterthought. That’s no slight on him personally, it&...

31 January, 2018

Mathias Emilio Pettersen – Scouted for over a decade

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30 January, 2018

Canada’s golden hero is having a season for the ages

One could argue the success of Jordan Kyrou began when he was drafted 35th overall by the St. Louis Blues in the 2016 NHL draft. Perhaps when he made the 2015-1...

30 January, 2018

Ranking: They lead the way at mid-season Calder Trophy race

The 2017 NHL draft didn?t boast a true superstar talent like the 2016 and 2015 drafts did. That?s nothing against Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick, both of whom ...

29 January, 2018

Seven prospects to keep track of during the Olympics

We get it, you pretty much know all about Rasmus Dahlin, Miro Heiskanen and Eeli Tolvanen by now. Hence, we will not bore you with another edition of “loo...

27 January, 2018

What’s the best fit for Rasmus Dahlin?

Yes, he is an amazing talent. Yes, he will be picked first overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Yes, he will be in the NHL this coming fall. Now that we?ve gott...

26 January, 2018Who is going to stop Russia’s All-Star studs at the Olympics?
25 January, 2018Dominik Bokk – a German that shunned the Draisaitl route
25 January, 2018Logan Stanley – An old school player in the modern era
08 January, 2018The WJC summed up in seven thoughts
08 January, 2018The future of Avalanche blueline resides in Canada
06 January, 2018Gold medal recap: Canada wins gold at WJC in Buffalo
05 January, 2018WJC Semifinals Recap – Sweden, Canada advance to gold medal game
03 January, 2018WJC Quarterfinals Recap: The Czechs upset Finland – Canada cruises to semifinals
02 January, 2018WJC 2018 Quarterfinal Preview – here are the match-ups
01 January, 2018Casey Mittelstadt clear MVP through group stage; 2018 draft-eligibles shine
01 January, 2018Recap of Day 6: Sweden tops Group B, USA pulls out late win against Finland
31 December, 2017Kurashev leading second wave of talented Swiss prospects
31 December, 2017Recap of Day 5: Canada tops out in Group A – Sweden takes third straight win
29 December, 2017The call him “The Hunter” – meet the Caps’ rising prospect
29 December, 2017Recap of Day 3: Slovakia upsets United States, Finland dominates Denmark 
28 December, 2017Recap of Day 2 – Canada pushes past Slovakia to remain perfect
27 December, 2017Will Czech Republic’s Necas and Chytil continue to produce their magic?
27 December, 2017Recap of Day 1 – Czechs confirm dark horse status with win over Russia
26 December, 2017Russia looks to extend WJC streak with largely unknown squad 
26 December, 2017Rasmus Dahlin highlights Swedish squad looking to end medal drought 
26 December, 2017Talented Finnish team eager to make amends after last year’s fiasco
26 December, 2017Who belongs where? – The WJC players and the NHL teams they are drafted by
25 December, 2017Too good for the World Juniors – here are the players you’ll miss in Buffalo
25 December, 2017WJC Countdown: Zibanejad ends Sweden’s gold drought in OT
24 December, 2017United States send roster loaded with offensive talent to Buffalo
24 December, 2017WJC Countdown: Chubarov nets twice in 1999 final
23 December, 2017WJC Countdown: David Aebischer leads Switzerland to first-ever World Juniors medal 
23 December, 2017The curious case of Sean Day
22 December, 2017WJC Countdown: Peter Forsberg sets tournament record with whopping 31 points 
22 December, 2017Revolutionizing the game of hockey: who will be next?
21 December, 2017WJC Countdown: The NHL lockout allowed Canada to ice a historically-good team in 2005
21 December, 2017Back in the spotlight
21 December, 2017Russia’s Svechnikov fighting for roster spot, high draft position
20 December, 2017WJC Countdown: Kapanen’s heroics etch his name in Finnish history
20 December, 2017Predicting the top scorer for the 2018 World Junior Championships
19 December, 2017European free agents providing value for NHL clubs
19 December, 2017WJC Countdown: Kazakhstan upsets Canada in front of tiny crowd
18 December, 2017WJC Countdown: United States wins first-ever gold medal after bizarre own-goal
18 December, 2017The five WJC defenders most likely to be on an NHL roster this fall
17 December, 2017WJC Countdown: Russia snaps gold medal drought in 2011 with three ridiculous comebacks
17 December, 2017Canada leaves skill at home in favour of balanced team
17 December, 2017CHL talent has history of producing gems on American roster
16 December, 2017The matter of talent development in Sweden
16 December, 2017WJC Countdown: Tavares’ MVP showing and Eberle’s clutch goal lead Canada to fifth-straight gold
15 December, 2017Makar looking to join rare group of Canadian NCAA stars
15 December, 2017A beginner’s guide to the CHL
14 December, 2017Cool as a cucumber – Rasmus Dahlin ready to embrace the pressure of the WJC
14 December, 2017Is Canada leaving too much skill at home?
14 December, 2017Is Flyers’ prospect Hart a lock for the Canadian starter’s job?
14 December, 2017Edmonton Oilers give Kailer Yamamoto the chance to shine at the WJC
13 December, 2017The Olympic Kids – prospects that starred on the big stage
13 December, 2017Can any of the WJC underdogs break through in Buffalo?  
12 December, 2017A Russian trend – three forwards headed for the first round?
12 December, 2017Deep Russian squad looks to extend medal streak 
11 December, 2017The 2018 WJC underdog that could win it all
11 December, 2017The World Junior Championships – an audition for the Olympics
10 December, 2017Sweden’s elite talent looks to end cycle of WJC mediocrity
10 December, 2017Lukas Vejdemo – taking the patient route to the NHL
09 December, 2017Nicklas Lidström on Rasmus Dahlin: “He looks like Brian Leetch”
09 December, 2017Where are they now? – Three forgotten WJC stars
08 December, 2017Breaking down Team Canada’s roster snubs
08 December, 2017Finland on the rebound after disastrous showing at last year’s WJC 
07 December, 2017Away from the spotlight
07 December, 2017Why Adam Boqvist wasn’t picked for the Swedish WJC camp
07 December, 2017Sabres faithful may get chance to see Mittelstadt shine
06 December, 2017Aleksi Heponiemi – Poised for success
06 December, 2017The hunt for the next Erik Karlsson
05 December, 2017Canada no longer dominates the WJC like they used to 
05 December, 2017Redefining the modern defenseman
05 December, 2017What the Swedish WJC team should look like