Kyle Rau (left) and Nick Bjugstad were both named to the preliminary roster for the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team.
Sophomore Nick Bjugstad and freshman Kyle Rau were named to the preliminary roster for the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team today. Bjugstad and Rau are two of 29 players who will gather for a camp in Camrose, Alta., on Dec. 17. The camp will include exhibition games against Russia (Dec. 20), Switzerland (Dec. 21) and Slovakia (Dec. 23).
The final 22-player U.S. National Junior Team roster is expected to be named Dec. 22.
"We're very excited to see what this group of players brings to camp," said Jim Johannson, general manager of the 2012 U.S. National Junior Team and also the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. "The talent and skill that all of these players bring will make trimming the roster tough, but we look forward to the process."
Bjugstad helped lead the U.S. to a bronze medal at last year's World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y. He had two goals and two assists in six WJC games a year ago. Both of his goals were game-winners, as he scored the overtime game-winning goal against Finland and then scored the game-winning goal in the bronze medal game against Sweden.
Bjugstad is second in the nation in points (26) and goals (15) and has registered at least one point in 14 of Minnesota's 18 games this year.
Rau, who leads all freshmen nationally in points (19) and goals (11), has points in 13 of 18 games this year. He is tied for first in the nation with five game-winning goals.
The 2012 U.S. National Junior Team will compete at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, Dec. 26, 2010-Jan. 5, 2011, in Calgary and Edmonton, Alta. Team USA will look to earn its third straight medal after capturing the bronze medal at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y., and the gold medal at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship in Saskatoon, Sask.
Nick Bjugstad helped lead the United States to a bronze medal last year.
Kyle Rau's International Resume: Competed for the United States Under-18 Team at the 2009 Ivan Hlinka Memorial in Piestany, Slovakia • recorded an assist and had a plus/minus of +1 in three games.