There won’t be an overabundance of Bruins prospects at the World Junior Championship tourney this winter, but there will be at least one big Boston Bruins property skating for Team USA once they get going later this month.
That’s because 2019 Boston Bruins first round pick Johnny Beecher has made the preliminary roster for USA Hockey and is expected to be a regular on an American team that’s once again loaded with talent. The Americans have taken medals in four of the last five world junior tourneys and are expected to do so again this winter.
The 19-year-old Beecher has one goal in six games thus far for the University of Michigan in his sophomore campaign, and has displayed the combination of size and skating speed that ranks him among the brightest prospects in the entire Boston Bruins system. While the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder is expected to be among the top-12 forwards for Team USA, Beecher is to be a bottom-6 center for the squad where his size/strength combo would be utilized for time-honored B’s qualities like checking, penalty killing and two-way play.
Here’s the preliminary roster for Team USA that includes Beecher and Stoneham native Sam Colangelo, who was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round during the 2020 NHL Draft earlier this fall.
Introducing #TeamUSA’s preliminary roster for the 2021 World Junior Championship. 🇺🇸
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) November 30, 2020
The 29 American players on the preliminary roster hail from 14 different states, and all but three of them have gone the college hockey route in their puck careers.
“We have a talented group and we’ll have some tough decisions to make,” said John Vanbiesbrouck, general manager of the 2021 U.S. National Junior Team and also the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. “We continue to benefit from a deep player pool, and that’s credit to all of the organizations and volunteers developing the next wave of American talent.”
The group, which includes 10 members of the 2020 U.S. National Junior Team, will gather for a training camp at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich., starting Dec. 6 prior to cutting down to 25 players for the 2021 World Junior tourney in Edmonton started on Christmas Day.