Jets prospect De Leo chasing his chance at WJC fame for USA

Chase De Leo of the Portland Winterhawks was one of 30 American-born
hopefuls named to USA’s 2015 WJC selection camp roster yesterday. The
19-year-old centre is the lone Winnipeg Jets prospect invited to camp.

In 28 games with the Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, De Leo
sits second in every stat, with 16 goals, 19 assists and a total of 35 points.
In his fourth full season with Portland, the La Mirada, California-native has
been a key offensive contributor and leader after a breakthrough 2013-14
season, where De Leo put up 81 points in 72 games.

After a tough start to the 2014-15 season, De Leo and the rest of the
Portland Winterhawks have turned it around winning 10 of their last 13 games.
During this stretch De Leo has amassed seven goals and eight assists. Camp goes
from Dec. 16-19, during which Portland has a pair of games, both which De Leo
will miss.

This is the first time that De Leo will be attending a Team USA World
Junior Championship camp, and he appears primed to crack a roster that failed
to medal in last year’s tournament held in Malmo, Sweden. The American team
finished a disappointing fifth, one year after winning gold in Ufa, Russia.

A few Jets prospects were left off this year’s camp invitee list, which
may have been a surprise for a few. This list includes 19-year-old Jimmy Lodge
who was invited to last year’s selection camp. This year, the young centre has
14 goals and 10 assists in 23 games in the OHL playing for the Saginaw Spirit
before being traded earlier this season to the Mississauga Steelheads.

Another player left off the list was Jack Glover who is currently a
freshman at the University of Minnesota. In his first year with the Golden
Gophers, the 18-year-old defenceman has two points in six games and is a +2 in
that time. A reason he wasn’t invited to camp may be due to his age, or his
lack of production in his first year of college hockey. But I have little
reason to doubt that a player like Jack Glover will not be invited to USA’s
camp this time next year.

For a complete list of US players invited to camp, click
here

So what do you think? Is Chase De Leo a lock for this year’s team? What
other Jets prospects would you have liked to see make camp? Did I miss any
players notably missing from camp? Can the US return to glory?

Leave your comments and thoughts below.