Chris Peters at the United States of Hockey takes a look at the players vying for the likely 22 roster spots on the Team USA World Junior team which will be picked next month.
Peters feels that JT Miller is a lock to make the team at right wing, but Steven Fogarty (2011 – 3rd) is one of a number of players competing for the final center ice spot.
Finally Peters says this about Brady Skjei's (2012 – 1st) chances of landing on the Team USA defensive corps…
"Then there’s Brady Skjei, who offers Team USA its best skating defenseman probably. He’s had a few tough moments at Minnesota this year as a freshman, but has size, physicality and explosive speed when he gets going. Those tools are going to be very attractive on the big ice, but he’s not playing the minutes at Minnesota you’d expect from a first-round draft pick. It’s becoming less clear there’s a spot for him on this team, but his physical attributes keep him in the hunt."
…Miller may be a lock, but that doesn't mean the Rangers are going to allow him to leave the Whale to play. He was a member of last year's American squad, so I don't think he'd be too disappointed if the Rangers asked him to pass. In my opinion, he'd be much better staying with the Whale learning the professional game.
…as far as Skjei goes, I'm surprised to see Peters come down so hard on him. The kid is a freshman playing for a National Championship caliber team at Minnesota. Not many freshman would be leading that team's defense in minutes.
Skjei has 1g, 1a and is a -2 in 10 games for the Gophers.