Last season, Derek Stepan led all of his teammates and the entire tournament in scoring. This year, Team USA looks to defend their title at the WJHC with a fresh pair of faces. Even though the team needs to replace their captain, they are still the favorite to win the entire tournament.
Here is what their projected lineup looks like after they announced their finalized roster over Facebook:
Jack Campbell, Windsor Spitfires (OHL); Andy Iles, Cornell Univ. (ECACH).
Brian Dumoulin, Boston College (HEA); Justin Faulk, Univ. of Minnesota Duluth (WCHA); Derek Forbort, Univ. of North Dakota (WCHA); Nick Leddy, Rockford IceHogs (AHL); Jon Merrill, Univ. of Michigan (CCHA); John Ramage, Univ. of Wisconsin (WCHA); Patrick Wey, Boston College (HEA).
Nick Bjugstad, Univ. of Minnesota (WCHA); Ryan Bourque, Quebec Remparts (QMJHL); Chris Brown, Univ. of Michigan (CCHA); Mitch Callahan, Kelowna Rockets (WHL); Charlie Coyle, Boston Univ. (HEA); Jerry D’Amigo, Toronto Marlies (AHL); Emerson Etem, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL); Chris Kreider, Boston College (HEA); Jeremy Morin, Rockford IceHogs (AHL); Brock Nelson, Univ. of North Dakota (WCHA); Kyle Palmieri, Syracuse Crunch (AHL); Drew Shore, Univ. of Denver (WCHA); Jason Zucker, Univ. of Denver (WCHA).
While the team made some notable cuts with regards to their future top draftees, this team seems to be another competitive bunch. Returning are last year’s heros D’Amigo and Palmieri, who each have made the jump to the AHL ranks as well as Blackhawks prospects Leddy and Morin. Let’s not forget Campbell, who led the team to victory last year.
The team is a bit heavy on 2010 draftees as they took six players from last year’s first round with the highest selection Campbell. Last year was a similar story as they chose their roster based on character opposed to big names and were able to defeat their opponents with speed and grit.
D’Amigo and Palmieri seem poised for another strong tourney but who else do you see stepping up to the plate? Kreider takes my homer vote and Morin should step up nicely as well considering his recent NHL experience and success.
Enough of my ramblings, who do you think will lead Team USA in scoring?