COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-- P.K. O’Handley (Waterloo, Iowa) has been named head coach of the U.S. Junior Select Team that will participate in the 2017 World Junior A Challenge from Dec. 10-16 in Truro, Nova Scotia, it was announced today by USA Hockey. Handley will be joined by assistant coaches Anthony Noreen (Chicago, Ill.), Nick Oliver (Roseau, Minn.) and Ryan Petersen (North St. Paul, Minn.).
USA Hockey also announced 22 players for the 2017 U.S. Junior Select Team that includes 13 forwards, seven defensemen and two goaltenders. All players currently play in the United States Hockey League, the lone Tier I junior hockey league in the U.S.
This is the third time O’Handley will serve as head coach of a U.S. Junior Select Team. In 2010, he led the U.S. to a championship at the World Junior A Challenge, and in 2007 to a third-place finish. He also served as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Junior Team that competed in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Ottawa, Ontario.
Currently in his 16th season as head coach and general manager of the Waterloo Black Hawks, O’Handley is the winningest coach in the USHL with over 500 league victories. Overall, O’Handley has led the Hawks to one Clark Cup (2004) and one Anderson Cup (2006/07, 2013/14) championship while being recognized as the USHL Coach of the Year three times (2003, 2007, 2014), and General Manager of Year twice (2003, 2012).
ABOUT NOREEN, OLIVER and PETERSON
Noreen, who is in his first season as head coach and general manager of the USHL’s Tri-City Storm, is serving on a U.S. Junior Select Team for the second time after helping the 2013 squad to a championship. Making their international debuts as assistant coaches for the U.S. Junior Select Team are Nick Oliver, a third-year an assistant coach for the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede, and Ryan Petersen, who is in his first season as an assistant coach for the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers.
ABOUT THE ROSTER
The 22-player roster includes four players that were selected in the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago last June. Clayton Phillips (Edina, Minn./Muskegon Lumberjacks) was drafted in the third round, 93rd overall, by the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jack Dugan (Pittsburgh, Pa./Chicago Steel) was chosen in the fifth round, 142nd overall, by the Vegas Golden Knights, and both Nick Perbix (Elk River, Minn./Omaha Lancers) and Cole Guttman (Los Angeles, Calif./Dubuque Fighting Saints) were taken in the sixth round – 169th and 180th overall, respectively – by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Eight other players are eligible for the NHL Draft for the first time in 2018.
Forward Graham Slaggert (South Bend, Ind./Cedar Rapids RoughRiders) was a member of the 2017 U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team that earned a gold medal at the International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Men’s World Championship last April in Poprad & Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia.
In addition, nine players have competed in the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, an annual event featuring the top American players eligible for the NHL Draft. Jack Drury (Winnetka, Ill./Waterloo Black Hawks), Paul Cotter (Canton, Mich./Lincoln Stars), Curtis Hall (Princeton N.J./Youngstown Phantoms), Christian Krygier (Novi, Mich./Lincoln Phantoms), Jake Kucharski (Erie, Pa./Des Moines Buccaneers), Blake McLaughlin (Grand Rapids, Minn./Chicago Steel), Perbix and Jack Randl (Carpentersville, Ill./Omaha Lancers) took part in the 2017 event, while Phillips played in the 2016 game.
The U.S. will play an exhibiton game against Canada East on Dec. 8 before opening the competition against the Czech Republic on Monday, Dec.11, at 2:30 p.m. ET. All World Junior A Challenge games will be streamed live at HockeyTV.
For complete coverage of Team USA at the 2017 World Junior A Challenge, click here.
NOTES: Twelve USHL teams are represented on the roster. The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, Chicago Steel and Dubuque Fighting Saints lead the way with three players each … The 22 players represent 12 different states. Minnesota has the most representatives with six, while Illinois has three … Marc Boxer (Colorado Springs, Colo.) will serve as general manager of the 2017 U.S. Junior Select Team…The World Junior A Challenge is in its 12th year, and the U.S. is competing for the eleventh time … The 2017 field includes Canada East, Canada West, Czech Republic, Russia, Switzerland and the United States … Team USA has captured the World Junior A Challenge title seven times (2008-10, 2012-14, 2016).