Noah Hanifin: Not Going to World Junior Championship

The Carolina Hurricanes announced on Monday that they will not be loaning rookie defenseman Noah Hanifin to the U.S. team for the 2016 World Junior Championship, according to Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer.

There had been some speculation that Hanifin would get loaned with the Hurricanes outside the playoff race and Hanifin looking like a developing piece for the ‘Canes. But despite any struggles he’s had, he’s averaging 17:20 per game and has played in nearly every game this season. The team trusts him and wants to keep him on the ice.

Not getting Hanifin isn’t a disaster for the U.S. team, but getting him would have been a massive boon, providing their number one defenseman. (Though Zach Werenski and Brandon Carlo would be battling for that title as well.) He was an important piece of the U.S.’s 2015 squad when Hanifin was 17, though he only had two assists through five games.

Team USA’s World Junior Championship selection camp begins Tuesday.

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