In a roster release Tuesday morning, USA Hockey announced what the No. 3 Michigan hockey team knew heading into the season: Some of its players would don the national jersey.
Sophomore forwards Matty Beniers and Thomas Bordeleau, sophomore defenseman Jacob Truscott, freshman forward Mackie Samoskevich and freshman defenseman Luke Hughes were named to the Preliminary 2022 U.S. National Junior roster. The tournament, played in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta, will last from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.
While the likely loss of talented skaters was expected to start the season, it still puts Michigan in a difficult spot. The five Wolverines, who will likely make the final roster, will miss at least the Great Lakes Invitational against Michigan Tech and No. 6 Western Michigan at the end of December.
Still, that comes with the territory of fielding a talented roster. Michigan’s depth skaters like junior forward Nick Granowicz, senior defenseman Jack Summers and sophomore forward Philippe Lapointe could help shoulder some of the missing playing time.
Team USA will compete in Group B against Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland, meaning the Wolverines’ skaters will not play any Michigan teammates in the preliminary round.
Last year, Beniers hoisted the World Junior Championship trophy in Edmonton alongside sophomore forward Brendan Brisson and former Michigan defenseman Cam York. For Bordeleau, Truscott, Samoskevich and Hughes, the 2022 tournament will be their first time on the World Junior ice.
With a roster as deep as Team USA’s, it might also be their first title.