Last night, U.S. players and staff members arrived in Kamloops, B.C., for the 2018 World Junior Summer Showcase. The week-long event will take place at Sandman Centre from July 29 through Aug. 4.
ADDRESSING THE TEAM
Upon arrival in Kamloops, the team convened in its team room for its first full meeting. John Vanbiesbrouck (Detroit, Mich.), USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations and general manager of the 2019 U.S. National Junior Team, addressed the players followed by Team USA's head coach Mike Hastings (Crookston, Minn.), who fulfills the same role at Minnesota State.
"Playing for your country is an honor and something to take pride in, not only in this given moment and time, but years from now," said Vanbiesbrouck. "I was fortunate to play for the United States at nearly every level, and those opportunities are still to this day some of the moments I look back on the most."
"There's been a lot of success built within a short period of time for USA Hockey here at the World Junior stage," said Hastings. "We need to keep that momentum going, not only because of the ones that came before us, but for the ones who will follow. We have an opportunity to add to this growing legacy."
2019 IIHF WJC U.S. OUTLOOK
The 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship will take place in Vancouver and Victoria, B.C., from Dec. 26, 2018 - Jan. 5, 2019. The United States will skate in Victoria against fellow Group B participants Finland, Kazakhstan, Slovakia and Sweden while Group A, which includes Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Russia and Switzerland, will skate in Vancouver.
The U.S. National Junior Team enters the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship having medaled in three-straight World Junior Championships for the first time in U.S. history after earning gold in 2017 and bronze in 2018 and 2016. Six players from last year's bronze medal-winning 2018 U.S. National Junior Team, including Mikey Anderson, Quinn Hughes, Josh Norris, Ryan Poehling, Dylan Samberg and Brady Tkachuk, are eligible for the 2019 U.S. National Junior Team that will compete in this year's event.
All-time, the United States has claimed 11 medals in the tournament's 42-year history. Of those 11, six have come in the last nine years, including three gold medals (2010, 2013, 2017) as well as a trio of bronze medals (2011, 2016, 2018).