clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2016 World Juniors: Blackhawks' Nick Schmaltz makes Team USA roster

New, comments

Chicago's 2014 first-round pick will represent Team USA at the 2016 World Junior Championships.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Nick Schmaltz will wear the stars and stripes across his chest once again.

The Chicago Blackhawks' 2014 first-round pick was one of 22 players named to Team USA's final roster for the 2016 World Junior Championships, USA Hockey announced Wednesday. There are 13 forwards, seven defenseman and two goaltenders looking to improve the US' fifth-place finish from the last tournament.

Schmaltz, 19, posted one assist in five tournament games for Team USA in the 2015 tournament.

The North Dakota sophomore has tallied three goals and 23 assists in 20 games this season. He led the country in November with primary assists (seven), even-strength assists (10) and game-winning assists (four). He was named the NCHC Player of the Month for November.

Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill.), 17, along with University of Minnesota defenseman Ryan Collins were the two final cuts. Keller, a Boston University commit, leads the U-18 team in scoring with 17 goals and 55 points. He is eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft and Central Scouting listed him as a first-round pick in November. Collins, a 2014 second-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, who was a 2015 WJC member has three assists in 15 games during his sophomore season for the Golden Gophers.

Defenseman Zach Werenski (Michigan/Columbus Blue Jackets) will captain the team, with defenseman Louie Belpedio (Skokie, Ill./Miami University/Minnesota Wild), forwards Auston Matthews (ZSC Lions/2016 NHL Draft eligible) and Colin White (Boston College/Ottawa Senators) serving as alternate captains.

Palos, Ill. native Christian Dvorak also made the roster. Dvorak, Arizona's 58th overall pick in 2014, has 28 goals and 65 points in 27 games for the London Knights of the OHL this season.

The 2016 WJC runs Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2016, in Helinski, Finland. Team USA opens play noon Saturday on NHL Network against Canada, the defending gold medalists.

USA Hockey at WJC

How to watch the WJC