OSTRAVA, Czech Republic – Defenseman Mattias Samuelsson (Voorhees, N.J./Western Michigan University) has been named captain of the 2020 U.S. National Junior Team it was announced today by USA Hockey.
In addition, defenseman K’Andre Miller (Minnetonka, Minn./University of Wisconsin) and Oliver Wahlstrom (Quincy, Mass./Bridgeport Sound Tigers) were named alternate captains of the squad. All three players were members of the silver-medal winning 2019 U.S. National Junior Team.
“I’m excited about this group, we have a lot of good leaders on this team,” said head coach Scott Sandelin (Hibbing, Minn./University of Minnesota Duluth). “We’ve got five returners who are going to be a big part of this team. Going back to the summer, being around them in their second year, the maturity and leadership they showed is what we were looking for.”
Team USA will begin play in the 2020 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship on Thursday (Dec. 26) in Ostrava, Czech Republic, against Canada. Puck drop is set for 1 p.m. ET and can be seen live on NHL Network.
ABOUT SAMUELSSON: One of five returnees from last year’s silver-medal winning U.S. Junior National Team, Samuelsson is currently skating in his second season at Western Michigan University (NCHC) where he currently serves as an alternate captain. Samuelsson previously served as captain for Team USA at the 2018 Under-18 Men’s World Championship where Team USA won a silver medal. A native of Voorhees, N.J., Samuelsson was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the second round, 32nd overall.
ABOUT MILLER: Miller is currently playing in his second season at the University of Wisconsin (Big Ten). Miller’s international experience includes winning a silver medal at both the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2018 Under-18 Men’s World Championship. A native of Minnetonka, Minn., Miller was drafted by the New York Rangers in the first round, 22nd overall.
ABOUT WAHLSTROM: Wahlstrom is currently playing in his first professional season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL). Wahlstorm, who made his NHL debut earlier this season with the New York Islanders, is one of five returnees from last year’s silver-medal winning U.S. Junior National Team. Wahlstrom also played twice in the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, winning a gold medal in 2017 and silver in 2018. Additionally, Wahlstrom won a gold medal at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games with Team USA. A native of Quincy, Mass., Wahlstrom was drafted by the New York Islanders in the first round, 11th overall.
NOTES: Mattias Samuelsson is the first New Jersey native to serve as captain of a U.S. National Junior Team … For a complete list of U.S. National Junior Team captains, click here … The United States enters the tournament having medaled in four consecutive World Junior Championships for the first time in U.S. history after earning gold in 2017, silver in 2019, and bronze in both 2018 and 2016 … Scott Sandelin is the head coach of Team USA and joined by assistant coaches David Lassonde (Durham, N.H./Dartmouth College), Steve Miller (Sun Prairie, Wis./Ohio State University), Brett Larson (St. Cloud, Minn./St. Cloud State University) and Jerry Keefe (Saugus, Mass./Northeastern University) … Team USA will play its preliminary round games in Ostrava against Group B opponents Canada, Czech Republic, Germany and Russia. Quarterfinals will be split between the Ostrava and Trinec. The semifinal and medal games will be played at Ostravar Arena in Ostrava. For more information about the tournament, click here.
|Date||Opponent||Location||TIME (LOCAL/ET)/RESULT||Broadcast||U.S. Player of the Game|
|Thurs., Dec. 26||Canada
|Ostravar Arena||L, 4-6||NHL Network||Shane Pinto|
|Fri., Dec. 27||Germany
|Ostravar Arena||W, 6-3||NHL Network||Trevor Zegras|
|Sun., Dec. 29||Russia
|Ostravar Arena||W, 3-1||NHL Network||Spencer Knight|
|Mon., Dec. 30||Czech Republic
|Ostravar Arena||OTW, 4-3||NHL Network||Cole Caufield|
|Thurs., Jan. 2||Finland
|Werk Arena||L, 0-1||NHL Network||Spencer Knight|