Team USA is hoping to bring home the title in the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in Canada starting next week, but they will be doing so without one of the Chicago Blackhawks’ top prospects.
That prospect is right-winger Alex DeBrincat, who was one of the final roster cuts made by the American squad after their training camp this week. Logan Brown, an Ottawa Senators prospect, was also among the final cuts, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
DeBrincat, who was the Blackhawks’ first pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, has been having a monster season for the OHL’s Erie Otters. The diminutive winger, who stands just 5-foot-7, has racked up 30 goals and 30 assists for the Otters in just 28 games as he’s continued the insane production that he put up in his first two junior league seasons.
Combined, DeBrincat has 132 goals and 133 assists in 156 games for the Otters over three seasons, and he’s been one of the best scorers in any of the major junior hockey leagues in Canada over that time.
His exclusion from the roster is an interesting one for an American squad that will be looking to win the title for the first time since the 2013 edition of the tournament, which saw several current NHL stars burst onto the scene in Russia. Calgary Flames star Johnny Gaudreau was one of the big players on that team, as was Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba and New York Rangers standout forward J.T. Miller.