The champs are here! On Wednesday afternoon USA Hockey announced their selection camp roster for the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championship in Sweden that starts on December 26, 2013. Even though there are no direct representatives from the Pittsburgh Penguins, the defending gold medal winning American squad does include members of the extended Penguin family.
First, making his U-20 World Junior Hockey Championship debut is Henrik Samuelsson. Samuelsson is the second oldest of former Penguins defenseman Ulf Samuelsson’s three sons. Henrik Samuelsson won a gold medal for USA Hockey in the 2011 Under-18 World Championship and was the first round (27th overall) selection of the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2012 NHL draft. In twenty-five games this season with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League (WHL), the middle Samuelsson son has scored thirty-three points (10G, 23A).
Along with Samuelsson, also making his Under-20 World Junior Hockey Championship debut is Ryan Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is the son of Penguins assistant to the general manager, Tom Fitzgerald. The nineteen year old Fitzgerald is a freshman at Boston College and has scored fourteen points (7G, 7A) in fourteen games this season. Ryan Fitzgerald was selected by the Boston Bruins in the fourth round (120th overall) of the 2013 NHL draft.
USA Hockey has until Christmas Day (December 25th) to get their twenty-six man roster down to twenty-two.