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United States name Jets prospect McGroarty captain for WJC

Rutger McGroarty United States Rutger McGroarty - Images on Ice

The Americans have their captain for the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championship. 

University of Michigan forward Rutger McGroarty, who was selected 14th overall by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2022 NHL Draft, was named captain of the United States National Junior team on Wednesday. 

“I’m excited about our leadership group and they have the full support of our overall team, which is important,” said head coach David Carle. “While our captains will play a significant role, for us to be successful, everyone will need to lead and contribute, and we have a group that is focused on just that.”

The 19-year-old native of Lincoln, Neb., has six goals and 12 assists over 13 games with the Michigan this year, his second season with the university. 

McGroarty netted one goal and six assists over seven games at the 2023 World Juniors as the Americans captured the bronze medal in Halifax. 

Forwards Cutter Gauthier (Boston College) and Gavin Brindley (University of Michigan) as well as defencemen Ryan Chesley (University of Minnesota) and Lane Hutson (Boston University) were all named alternate captains. 

Gauthier is the most notable name in the group after being selected fifth overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2022 Draft. The 19-year-old scored four goals and six assists over seven games at last year's World Juniors. 

Brindley was drafted in the second round by the Columbus Blue Jackets last summer, Chesley in the second round of the 2022 NHL Draft by the Washington Capitals, and Hutson in the second round of the 2022 draft by the Montreal Canadiens. 

All five players played for the United States at last year's World Juniors. 

The 2024 tournament begins on Boxing Day in Gothenburg, Sweden.