USA Hockey announced its final forwards group for the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team, which included Chicago Blackhawks' 2014 first-round pick Nick Schmaltz and three other prospects: John Hayden, Tyler Motte and Anthony Louis.
NTDP U18 forward Jeremy Bracco and OHL forward Cole Cassels were the final cuts.
USA's 13 forwards: Eichel, Milano, Tuch, Schmaltz, Louis, Motte, Hayden, De Leo, Larkin, Fasching, Matthews, Compher, Wood.— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) December 24, 2014
The roster cut came following the team's 10-5 blowout exhibition game victory over Sweden in Kingston, Ontario.
Schmaltz, a 18-year-old freshman at North Dakota, had a goal and three assists in the win. Motte, a '13 fourth-rounder, scored twice while Hayden, '13 third-rounder, added an assist. Louis was scratched from the game.
OHL's Plymouth Whalers Sonny Milano had five assists, Michigan defenseman Zach Werenski three helpers, Boston College's Alex Tuch scored a hat trick and NTDP U18 Auston Matthews netted two goals for the team.
Tuesday morning Hayden was named the team's alternate captain with Will Butcher while Boston University's Jack Eichel, one of the top two prospects in the 2015 NHL Draft class, will captain the squad.
Mark Osiecki, an assistant coach with the Blackhawks' American Hockey League affiliate Rockford IceHogs, is the head coach for USA.
One more cut will be made before the tournament begins on the blue line. The decision will likely be decided based on the health of defenseman Steve Santini, who did not play in the exhibition against Sweden.The final roster will be announced Christmas Eve.
The 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation Junior Championships take place from Dec. 26 through Jan. 5 in Montreal, Quebec and Toronto.
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