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McKenzie: Americans extend selection process at WJHC

Bob McKenzie
12/27/2012 1:20:03 PM
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It's amazing the change in philosophy from USA Hockey in terms of how they select their junior team. In the old days, they would have their summer camp, and then in December simply put out a press release announcing their roster.

Then they started having a selection camp in December like Canada, and now they have taken it to an extra step.

One game into the tournament, they haven't even named their full complement on defence. They have an offensive guy in Mike Reilly paired up with Seth Jones; an offensive guy in Shayne Gostibehere paired up with Jacob Trouba; and a real solid third pairing with Jake McCabe and Connor Murphy.

But there are two guys vying for one more spot. Pat Sieloff, a big physical defenceman, and Matt Grzelcyk, who is more offensive minded, sat and watched against Germany and won't find out until Friday which way it's going to go.

The Americans decided they wanted to see how their team performed against Germany. The decision between the two will get made Friday, and they'll put their full complement in then.

Dominant Run

Of all the players on the US roster, Alex Galchenyuk is the one guy that probably wouldn't be in Ufa if the lockout was over. He's had such a dominant month in the OHL; he's as hot as any junior age player in the world.

At the beginning of the season I would have suggested he would have been a longshot to make the Montreal Canadiens, but as well as he's played in December, if the season were to start now, Galchenyuk could very well be in the Canadiens' lineup.

Suspension Talk

The Americans will benefit from the two suspensions so far in the WJHC. Boone Jenner is obviously out for three games, and the last of three games he'll miss is against Team USA.

And now the Russians have lost a real good offensive player in Maxim Shalunov, who picked up a double minor late in the game against Slovakia. Shalunov received a one-game suspension: the game against the Americans.

The Americans aren't going to feel sorry for Canada or Russia because they lost Stefan Noesen, who was a top six forward for them, because of a 10-game suspension in the OHL. Only three of the 10 games were served before their camp, and because there were no OHL games over Christmas, he was declared ineligible.

Bob McKenzie

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