From our friends at USA Hockey …
2012-13 U.S. National Under-17 Team Roster and Schedule Announced
Cole to Lead Team USA in Third Season as Head Coach
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, which enters its 16th year on ice in 2012-13, today announced the roster and schedule for its U.S. National Under-17 Team. The squad, comprised of some of the top American-born players in the 1996 birth year, will compete against teams from the United States Hockey League in addition to taking part in three international competitions during the course of the season.
The 22-player roster features eight defensemen, including Louis Belpedio (Skokie, Ill.), Nathan Billitier (Spencerport, N.Y.), Ryan Bliss (Bedford, N.H.), Ryan Collins (Bloomington, Minn.), Brandon Fortunato (North Hills, N.Y.), Jack Glover (Golden Valley, Minn.), Johnathan MacLeod (Dracut, Mass.) and Joshua Wesley (Raleigh, N.C.).
The 12 forwards include Anders Bjork (Mequon, Wis.), Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.), Jared Fiegl (Parker, Colo.), Ryan Hitchcock (Manhasset, N.Y.), Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich.), Ryan MacInnis (St. Louis, Mo.), Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y.), Dylan Pavelek (Marysville, Mich.), Nolan Stevens (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y.), Joe Wegwerth (Brewster, N.Y.) and Chris Wilkie (Omaha, Neb.).
Backstopping Team USA will be Edwin Minney (Wind Gap, Pa.) and Blake Weyrick (Ojai, Calif.).
Danton Cole is in his third season at the NTDP and will serve as the head coach of the U.S. National Under-17 Team for the 2012-13 season, while John Gruden, who worked with the U.S. National Under-18 Team last season, will serve as assistant coach. Trent Palm will serve as intern assistant coach for the Under-17 Team.
The U.S. National Under-17 Team kicks off the 2012-13 campaign at home with a USHL exhibition contest Sept. 16 against the Youngstown Phantoms. It will begin its 38-game USHL regular-season schedule Sept. 28 at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube against the Des Moines Buccaneers.
The U.S. will compete internationally at the 2012 Four Nations Tournament Nov. 6-11 in Monthey, Switzerland; at the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Drummondville and Victoriaville, Quebec, from Dec. 29, 2012-Jan. 4, 2013; and at the 2013 Five Nations Tournament Feb. 5-10 in Jarvenpaa, Finland.
Tickets for home games played at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube are just $7 for adults and $5 for children, seniors and active military members. Youth hockey players wearing their team jerseys are admitted for just $1. New this season, the NTDP is offering a Family Four Pack, good for four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas. Family Four Packs are $25 prior to the day of the game. Tickets can be purchased by calling the NTDP front office at (734) 327-9251.
NOTES: The 22 players on the U.S. roster represent 13 different states. New York leads the way with six natives on the roster, while California, Massachusetts, Michigan and Minnesota boast two each … MacInnis represents the first Missouri native at the NTDP, while Wesley is the first from North Carolina and Wilkie is the first from Nebraska … A total of 14 members of Team USA have already verbally committed to NCAA Division I schools … Fortunato and Pavelek competed in the 2012 Five Nations Tournament from Aug. 7-11 in Chomutov, Kadan and Klasterec, Czech Republic and helped the U.S. Under-17 Select Team go undefeated and finish in first place … Billitier, Bliss, Eichel, Fiegl, Glover, MacInnis, Minney and Wegwerth all competed for Team USA in the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games from Jan. 13-22, 2012, in Innsbruck, Austria. Larkin was named to the team but did not compete due to injury … A full-time elite development program in Ann Arbor, Mich., USA Hockey’s NTDP includes both the U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams. The teams will count jointly as one team in the USHL standings as a member of the Eastern Conference. Should the NTDP qualify, the U.S. National Under-17 Team will compete in the Clark Cup Playoffs … The U.S. National Under-17 and Under-18 Teams utilize The Hockey IntelliGym, a revolutionary software program that trains hockey sense. To learn more, visit USAHockeyIntelliGym.com.