The United States, Canada and Finland 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship preliminary rosters were announced earlier this week.
Five players from the Boston University men’s hockey team – some returning and some new – saw their names on the rosters among many other young hockey players who hope to represent their home countries in Buffalo, New York from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.
Last year, Team USA won its fourth title after beating Team Canada 5-4 in a shootout.
Below are the five Terriers that were named to their respective countries’ WJC preliminary rosters. Team USA invited 28 players and will narrow the group down to 23 while Team Canada invited 32 players and will narrow it down to a 22-man roster.
Sophomore forward Patrick Harper – Team USA
Harper notched one goal for Team USA last year and currently leads BU with 19 points (6g, 13a). Last Friday, Harper assisted four of the Terriers’ goals in the team’s 7-4 win over then-No. 15 Boston College.
Sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro – Team Canada
Fabbro took home a silver medal with Team Canada last year and was one of two collegiate players on the squad. The New Westminster, British Columbia native currently has 11 points (4g, 7a) and leads BU in blocked shots with 38.
Sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger – Team USA
While Tyler Parsons and BC sophomore goaltender Joseph Woll played in the net during last year’s championships, Oettinger came home with a gold medal. This year, Woll and Maine’s freshman goaltender Jeremy Swayman were also named to the preliminary roster.
The Lakeville, Minnesota native currently sits on a .905 goal save percentage and 2.89 goals against average over 15 games.
“It’s awesome and I’ve been lucky enough to do it a couple of times and it never gets old. [There’s] a really good group of guys invited to that camp so really excited to reconnect with those guys and start trying to defend our gold medal from last year, but that’s all going to come after what should be a strong end of the season here at BU.” – Oettinger after practice on Thursday.
Freshman defenseman Kasper Kotkansalo – Team Finland
The Finnish defenseman has represented Team Finland on many occasions including winning a gold medal in the IIHF World Under-18 World Championship. Kotkansalo currently leads BU’s freshman defensemen in blocked shots with 23, and has one goal and three assists on the season.
Freshman forward Brady Tkachuk – Team USA
Tkachuk won gold with Team USA in the 2017 U18 World Championship and collected seven points (1g, 6a) on top of serving as captain. The St. Louis, Missouri native is currently fifth highest on the team in points with 12 (2g, 10a) and leads in plus minus rating of +9.
The Missing One?
Sophomore defenseman Chad Krys – Team USA
Krys was named to USA’s preliminary roster last year, but didn’t make the final cut. Last season, the defenseman finished a solid season with 11 points (5g, 6a) after being linemates with current Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy. Krys has surpassed that with 14 points (4g, 10a) over 17 games this season.
“Yeah, obviously you feel like it’s one of your children so you’re always hopeful and you always think very highly of him. It’s disappointing for Chad, but the one thing I know that he and I’ve talked about is you just move past it and he gets to spend Christmas at home and get some time off. There’s always a silver lining to everything.” – BU head coach David Quinn after practice on Thursday.
What are your thoughts on the BU players chosen for the WJC preliminary rosters?
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) December 5, 2017
Fabbro added to Team Canada's prelim roster, that makes five Terriers in contention for a WJC roster spot. pic.twitter.com/iOp11XLn3n
— Matt Dresens (@TheBUHockeyBlog) December 6, 2017
One. Step. Closer.
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) December 6, 2017