AMHERST, N.Y. — The U.S. roster for the 2018 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, comprised of players chosen from this week’s USA Hockey Select 17 Player Development Camp, will be officially unveiled Monday afternoon.
Before then, New England Hockey Journal projects what the American entry could look like for this prestigious youth tournament. The games, held in early August in Alberta, Canada, are a prime showcase opportunity for 2019 NHL Draft-eligible prospects.
USA Hockey elects to keep the National Team Development Program (NTDP) players home from the Hlinka tournament to showcase some second-tier prospects, which means the country has typically struggled to maintain success at this event. The country's first-tier prospects are given ample opportunities throughout the season to impress with the NTDP.
Further, this year’s team will likely have very little New England flavor. The region's homegrown players and those with ties to prep schools have struggled to stick out from their peers.
The following roster is who this observer would take, and is not meant as a prediction of what USA Hockey will ultimately do. Overall, the forward group should be fine, but the U.S. lacks depth and shutdown defenders on the blue line.