Team USA Leaning Away from Keeping Skjei

Chris Peters at the United States of Hockey reports that Brady Skjei (2012 – 1st) is likely battling Calgary Flames prospect Pat Sieloff for the final defensive spot on the USA World Junior team…

"It will come down to which Team USA needs more… Skjei’s size and skating or Sieloff’s physical game. Both move the puck well enough and each has good defensive awareness. Based on the way practices ended up in New York, it seems to me the U.S. is leaning a little more towards Sieloff at this point."

Peters does point out that Skjei's skillset would appear to be better served in this type of tournament, particularly with his elite skating.

…i think Sieloff has the advantage here because he's the only real shutdown defenseman in camp for Team USA and you'd have to think Housley would want to keep him around for that reason. At some point in the tournament the Americans are going to need a little snarl.

…there's going to be two exhibition games in Finland this week before final cuts this weekend, so there is still ample opportunity for Skjei to make his case.

Team USA opens the World Junior Championships on December 27th against Germany.

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