Six players, including Matthew Knies and Brock Faber, are Minnesota Gophers who are invited to World Juniors Evaluation Camp. They will bring extensive international hockey expertise to the camp that will select Team USA for the 2022 and 2023 World Junior Championships.
If all goes according to plan in Michigan over the next month, a group of Minnesota Gophers might receive two free flights to Canada to represent their country by the end of 2022.
Six players were invited to the training camps that would determine the squads that would represent their respective countries in the 2022 and 2023 World Junior Hockey Championships. One individual on their list just graduated, while the remaining seven are either current or prospective Gophers.
From July 24 through August 3, the training camp will be held at the USA Hockey Arena in a Detroit suburb. Nate Leaman and his colleagues will choose twenty-three players for the 2022 World Juniors from a pool of sixty athletes. Five goaltenders, twenty defenders, and thirty-five forwards will comprise the roster. These players will wear red, white, and blue sweaters at the competition.
This competition was originally scheduled to take place in Alberta in December, but due to COVID concerns, it was changed to Edmonton from August 9 to August 20. After Team USA had already played one game, something occurreded. USA Hockey expects to reveal the final selections for the 2022 competition on August 3.
The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers consisted of eight players: goaltender Luke Snuggerud, forwards Logan Cooley, Matthew Knies, Connor Kurth, and Chaz Lucius, and defenders Ryan Chesley, Brock Faber, and Luke Mittelstadt.
Knies and Faber have a considerable amount of international hockey experience between them. The two athletes represented the United States at the 2022 Winter Olympics in China. They were also members of Team USA for the season’s last World Juniors game before the competition was canceled. After his debut season with the Gophers, Lucius participated in 24 games before signing with the Winnipeg Jets. He also played for the United States in the one World Juniors match that year. Faber played for Team USA in the 2021 World Juniors, where he earned the gold medal. In 2022, Leaman, who is currently the head coach of Providence, will once again serve as captain of the United States.
This year, Chesley, Mittelstadt, Cooley, Kurth, and Snuggerud will all enroll at the University of Minnesota for the first time.
From December 26 to January 5, 2023, the World Junior Championships will be hosted in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Moncton, New Brunswick, in eastern Canada. This list is anticipated to be made public in December. The current head coach at Quinnipiac, Rand Pecknold, will be in charge of that squad.
John Vanbiesbrouck, general manager of the United States National Junior Team and assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey, issued the following statement: “We will be evaluating players for our National Junior Teams that will compete in the World Junior Championships in August and December.” This will be a unique camp since we will be selecting individuals for our National Junior Teams that will compete in those events. The general manager thinks it will be difficult to make judgments since we have a large number of talented players and two excellent coaching staffs.
According to USA Hockey, the 60 players are from 21 different states, with 12 hailing from Minnesota.