With the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships closer than ever before, there have been a number of roster updates over the past few days in preparation for the upcoming tournament, which begins December 26 in Ufa, Russia.
• TEAM CANADA •
Team Canada lost its first pre-tournament game to Finland, a 3-2 decision on December 20, before defeating Sweden 2-1 in the shootout two days later.
-It’s unknown if Boone Jenner will be able to participate in the upcoming World Juniors tournament, as the team awaits a supplementary discipline decision from the IIHF. Jenner received a five-minute major and a game misconduct in Saturday’s win over Sweden for a late hit on Swedish defenseman Jesper Pettersson.
– Chicoutimi’s Charles Hudon is out for the tournament with a lower back injury.
– Prince Albert forward Mark McNeill will take his place on the Canadian roster. He has already joined the team overseas and has represented Canada previously at the U-18 championship in 2011.
– Niagara forward Brett Ritchie is expected to participate in the tournament after suffering an upper body injury on Thursday. He rejoined the team’s practice on Sunday, playing on the second line with Ryan Strome and Jonathan Drouin.
– Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will captain the Canadian team, with Scott Harrington and Jonathan Huberdeau wearing the ‘A’s.
• TEAM USA •
The American team defeated Sweden, 3-2, in an overtime decision in its first pre-tournament game before dropping a 5-1 match to Finland on Saturday.
– The USA trimmed its roster on Sunday morning, with Brady Skjei and Stefan Matteau being released. The team still needs to cut one more defenseman before its final roster is determined; medical reports on Connor Murphy are said to be holding up that decision.
– The team will not cut any of its goaltenders, but will instead carry three into the tournament, including an emergency backup.
– Forward Stefan Noesen was ruled ineligible to participate in the tournament, due to an outstanding OHL suspension. Noesen was served a 10-game suspension for a hit on Oshawa Generals defenseman Tyler Hore on December 8. Noesen has served three games of the suspension so far, and the IIHF has decided to recognize his suspension, making him ineligible to participate.
– University of Wisconsin defenseman Jake McCabe was named USA captain, with J.T. Miller, Seth Jones, Jacob Trouba and Cole Bardreau named as the alternates.
• TEAM SWEDEN •
Sweden fell to the United States and Canada in both of its pre-tournament games.
- The most notable roster move for the Swedish team is the loss of defenseman Jesper Pettersson, who was carried off on a stretcher after being hit by Canada’s Boone Jenner. Jenner received a five-minute major and game misconduct for charging on the late hit, and Pettersson will miss the tournament.