Thursday afternoon, USA Hockey named the first 15 players to make the US hockey team that will be playing in the World Championships in the Czech Republic starting May 1. Among the names, three worth noting for Winnipeg Jets fans as goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, defenseman Jacob Trouba and forward Andrew Copp made the roster headed across the Atlantic in a few weeks time.
The World Championships marks a second go-round of international play after Hellebuyck and Trouba as they both saw time with Team North America and Team USA respectively during last fall’s World Cup of Hockey in Toronto.
For Hellebuyck, it will be a chance to lead USA in goal once again after a fairly successful World Championship run in 2016, posting a 7-1 record with two shutouts and a .948 save percentage as he helped the US earn a bronze medal. He is joined on the team by veteran Jimmy Howard and Sabres prospect Cal Petersen, so the chances Helle gets a large number of the starts for US is pretty high.
Jacob Trouba grew up with the US National Development System and this is his third time joining the US Men’s national team. His notable appearance in the tournament came in 2013 when he was named a top defenseman and helped lead the Americans to a bronze medal then as well.
Andrew Copp will be making his debut with the US Men’s National team, but had previously played in various junior tournaments for his country, earning a gold medal with the American under 18 juniors back in 2012.
With a handful of roster spots still available for the Americans, keep your eye on Kyle Connor and Jack Roslovic as possible names that could be called as it sure does seem the US team is leaning more towards youth on their roster.