College Hockey’s Influence on Team USA

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Most college hockey teams are off for the Christmas break. During the holiday’s season, many college hockey fans will turn their attention to the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.

The WJHC is one of the premiere hockey tournaments in all of hockey. Could you ask for a better New Year’s Eve match-up? How about the battle of the titans, USA vs. Canada.

When looking at the WJHC team’s rosters, one of the first questions many people ask, where are these hockey players from? Where did they develop? Did they come from Major Junior or college?

Jack Eichel of Team USA - 2014 World Juniors (WJHC)
Jack Eichel is just one of highly coveted prospects available for the 2015 NHL Draft. (USA Hockey/Ellen DeLuca)

Of the 23 players on the United States 2015 World Junior Hockey Championship roster, 15 are from US college hockey. Six players come from the Major Junior ranks. One player hails from the USNDT U-18 team.  Finally, one player is from an US prep school.

This year, Boston College and the University of Michigan have the most players on team USA. Both schools have four players each. The University of Minnesota is second with two players.

There are many players participating in the WJHC that have been drafted by NHL teams. The Chicago Blackhawks have the four draft choices on the USA WJC roster. That’s the most of any team.

There are three players on the 2015 USA WJC roster that haven’t been drafted. These players will be draft eligible for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

This year, team USA will attempt to win its fourth World Junior Hockey Championship. Since 1974, team USA has won titles in 2004, 2010 and 2013.

I broke down the college hockey players by roster number, position, collegiate points for the 2014-15 season, hometown and finally the NHL team that drafted them.

Stats supplied by Elite Prospects.

Boston College (4)

(30) Thatcher Demko, Goalie, (9-6-1, 2.12 GAA, .927 SV%), San Diego, CA, (Vancouver Canucks)

(2) Noah Hanifin, Defense, (2g-5a—7pts), Norwood, MA, (2015 Draft Eligible)

(3) Ian McCoshen,  Defense, (2g-3a—5pts), Faribault, MN, (Florida Panthers)

(17) Alex Tuch, Forward, (5g-7a—12pts), Syracuse, NY, (Minnesota Wild)

Boston University (1)

(9) Jack Eichel, Forward, (8g-19a—27pts), Chelmsford, MA, (2015 Drat Eligible)

 University of Denver (1)

(4) Will Butcher: Defense, (2g-6a—8pts), Sun Prairie, WI, (Colorado Avalanche)

Miami University (1)

(10) Anthony Louis, Forward, (3g-11a—14pts), Winfield, IL, (Chicago Blackhawks)

 University of Michigan (4)

(23) Zach Werenski, Defense, (3g-9a—12pts), Grosse Pointe, MI, (2015 Draft Eligible)

(7) J.T. Compher, Forward, (3g-8a—11pts), Northbrook, IL, (Buffalo Sabres)

(14) Tyler Motte,  Forward, (5g-9a—14pts), St. Clair, MI, (Chicago Blackhawks)

(21) Dylan Larkin, Forward, (3g-13a—16pts), Waterford, MI, (Detroit Red Wings)

 University of Minnesota (2)

(6) Ryan Collins, Defense, (0g-4a—4pts), Bloomington, MN, (Columbus Blue Jackets)

(22) Hudson Fasching, Forward, (5g-2a-7pts), Apple Valley, MN, (Los Angeles Kings)

 University of North Dakota (1)

(8) Nick Schmaltz, Forward, (3g-12a—15pts), Verona, WI, (Chicago Blackhawks)

Yale (1)

(15) John Hayden, Forward, (3g-7a—10pts), Greenwich, CT, (Chicago Blackhawks)