The U.S. National Junior Team began its first full day of its camp here in Columbus, Ohio, with a team meeting at the hotel room. General Manager Jim Johannson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) addressed the team and introduced U.S. head coach Bob Motzko (St. Cloud, Minn.).
Motzko then introduced his assistant coaches in Greg Brown (Scituate, Mass.), Grant Potulny (Grand Forks, N.D.), Kris Mayotte (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Steve Miller all of which return from last year's gold medal-winning U.S. National Junior Team.
The meeting then centered on Team USA's expectations in camp and ultimately the tournament in Buffalo, New York.
Team USA hits the ice today at the OhioHealth Ice Haus from 1-3pm ET. The goaltenders will be the first to skate, followed by all skaters 15 minutes later.
"We're excited to get going," said Motzko. "The biggest thing we told our guys this morning was that this isn't a tryout camp. These players were invited and are here because they deserve it. We believe in every one of them, so we want them to just get out on the ice and make the most of this opportunity."
The preliminary roster includes 23 players who attended last summer's 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan.
"There's certainly some positives to the amount of guys here who were with us in the summer, but big picture it doesn't mean a whole lot," said coach Motzko. "These players are here because of what they've done this season. They've earned it, and whether they were on last year's team, with us in the summer or are a fresh face, everyone has a shot and we're excited to see what they can do."
Of the five 'fresh faces' are goaltender Jeremy Swayman (Anchorage, Alaska/Univ. of Maine), forward Hugh McGing (Chicago, Ill./Western Michigan Univ.) and defensemen Cole Hults (Stoughton, Wis./Penn State Univ.), Scott Perunovich (Hibbing, Minn./Univ. of Minnesota Duluth) and Reilly Walsh (North Falmouth, Mass./Harvard Univ.).