2023 World Junior Championship Team USA Final Roster

In August, Team USA lost in the Quarterfinals to Czechia at the 2022 World Junior Championship (WJC). After a disappointing result in the Summer, the USA will look to bounce back at the 2023 WJC, which is set to start on December 26. 

On December 16, USA Hockey announced its 25-player roster. The roster is made up of a majority of NCAA players (21), while two players are in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), one player in the American Hockey League (AHL) and another in the US National Development Program (USDP). 

Team USA will be without projected top-10 pick in the 2023 Draft, Will Smith, as the forward was unable to take part in camp due to illness. They will have seven returnees from August’s disappointing tournament in Logan Cooley, Luke Hughes, Redmond Savage, Sean Behrens, Jack Peart, Kaidan Mbereko and Andrew Oke.


Jackson Blake, Gavin Brindley, Tyler Boucher, Kenny Connors, Logan Cooley, Dylan Duke, Cutter Gauthier, Noah Laba, Samuel Lipkin, Chaz Lucius, Rutger McGroarty, Redmond Savage, Jimmy Snuggerud, Charlie Stramel

Team USA’s forward group is led by six first-round picks in Cooley, Cutter Gauthier, Tyler Boucher, Rutger McGroarty, Chaz Lucius and Jimmy Snuggerud. They will need a lot of help from these first-round picks, especially their top line. 

Logan Cooley USNTDP
Logan Cooley, Arizona Coyotes 2022 third overall pick (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

Based on camp, Arizona Coyotes’ 2022 third overall pick Cooley will likely centre the team’s first line alongside his NCAA teammate and 2022 St. Louis Blues 23rd overall pick Snuggerud, as well as Philadelphia Flyers’ 2022 fifth overall pick Gauthier to start the tournament. Cooley has 10 goals and 25 points in 19 games in his first NCAA season with the University of Minnesota, while Snuggerud leads the team with 12 goals and 27 points in 20 games. Gauthier has 10 goals and 16 points in 13 games with Boston College in his first year.

Winnipeg Jets 2021 18th overall pick Lucius is slated to centre the second line along with fellow Jets prospect and 2022 14th overall pick McGroarty. Jackson Blake, a Carolina Hurricanes fourth round pick from 2021, will also line up alongside the two forwards. Lucius is the lone AHL player on the team, posting two goals and five points in 12 games with the Manitoba Moose. He made the team despite not practicing much until recently in a no-contact jersey. He is aiming to win a gold medal at this year’s tournament. 

“I think a big reason I want to make this U.S. team is because I didn’t get to take part in that first one with the COVID, and then from a development standpoint and playing here, I think the biggest thing for me this time around is I really want to win a gold medal,” he said. “I think we’ve got the team to do it and I’m really grateful that Winnipeg is letting me tryout and play in the tournament.”

The last first-round pick, Boucher, will likely start on the third line alongside Savage and Dylan Duke. The Ottawa Senators 2021 10th overall pick has nine goals and 15 points in 17 games with the Ottawa 67’s in the OHL. Additionally, Gavin Brindley is ranked 26th by The Hockey Writer’s Logan Horn in his December rankings and is expected to play on the fourth line.


Sean Behrens, Seamus Casey, Ryan Chesley, Luke Hughes, Lane Hutson, Luke Mittelstadt, Jack Peart, Ryan Ufko

Team USA will ice a mobile and mostly small blue line. Outside of Hughes and Ryan Chesley, the remaining six defencemen are under 6-feet. However, the group of puck-moving defenders will allow the team to play a fast-paced game, and there will likely be a lot of offence from the blue line. 

Luke Hughes of the USDP
Luke Hughes, New Jersey Devils 2021 fourth overall pick (Photo: Rena Laverty)

Hughes is the lone first-round draft pick on the backend. The New Jersey Devils 2021 fourth overall pick played in all five games for the team in August, scoring one goal and posting six points. He also represented the U.S. at the 2022 World Championships scoring one goal and posting four points in 10 games. He has played 20 games in his second season with the University of Michigan. So far, he’s scored three goals and posted 18 points. 

Related: 2023 Guide to the World Junior Championship

Although Hughes is the lone first-round pick on the blue line, the team has multiple second-round picks. Peart and Behrens are the other two returnees from last year’s tournament. Peart played in four games, posting two points. The Minnesota Wild 2021 second-rounder has two goals and 15 points in 18 games this season at St. Cloud State University. Meanwhile, Behrens, a Colorado Avalanche 2021 second-round pick, only played in one game at last year’s tournament. He has one goal and eight points in his second NCAA season with the University of Denver. 

Hughes’ Michigan teammate and fellow Devils prospect Seamus Casey is on the team. Casey has four goals and 16 points in 20 games. Additionally, Cooley and Snuggerud are joined by their University of Minnesota teammate Ryan Chesley, a Washington Capitals 2022 second-round pick. He has one goal and three points in 30 games. The final second-rounder on the blue line is Montreal Canadiens’ 2022 62nd overall pick, Lane Hutson. Hutson has been impressive at Boston University, scoring seven goals and posting 18 points in 16 games. The group is rounded out by Nashville Predators 2021 fourth-rounder Ryan Ufko and undrafted defenceman Luke Mittelstadt. 


Trey Augustine, Kaiden Mbereko, Andrew Oke

Mbereko will likely start in net for the U.S. The goaltender was between the pipes for the team in August and posted a 3-1-0 record, 1.76 goals-against average (GAA), and a .921 save percentage (SV%) in four games. The undrafted goalie has continued to have a great season at Colorado College, posting a 2.26 GAA and a .927 SV% in 14 games. He has a record of 6-6-1. 

Kaidan Mbereko Team USA
Kaidan Mbereko, Team USA (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

Oke will likely serve as Mbereko’s backup as he is the other returnee in net. Similar to the projected starter, Oke is also an undrafted goalie. He played in one game during the previous tournament, sharing the start but making 11 saves and not allowing a goal. Trey Augustine is the third goalie and is eligible for the 2023 NHL Draft. He could get a look in net as well. 

USA Looking to Bounce Back

The U.S. will look to bounce back after a disappointing result at the 2022 WJC tournament. The team will rely on their top six to produce offensively, while their mobile blue line will pitch in as well. In net, they’re hoping returnee Mbereko can help get the job done and capture a gold medal at the 2022 WJC.