MINNEAPOLIS (GopherSports.com) – Gopher Hockey will send a trio of skaters to USA Hockey’s 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich., with Ryan Lindgren, Nate Knoepke and Casey Mittelstadt representing the Maroon & Gold.
The event, set for July 29-Aug. 5, features four nations – the United States, Canada, Finland and Sweden – as all four countries prepare for the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, set for Dec. 26-Jan. 5, in Buffalo, N.Y.
All three Gophers skaters have previously represented the United States in international competition.
A defenseman from Minneapolis, Minn., Lindgren leads the way for Minnesota after helping the U.S. National Junior Team to a gold medal at last year’s IIHF World Junior Championship in Montreal. A product of the U.S. National Team Development Program, Lindgren previously collected gold with USA Hockey at the 2015 Under-17 Four Nations Tournament while he also helped the U.S. to a bronze medal at the 2016 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship and silver medals at the 2015 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament, the 2014 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament and the 2014 Under-17 Four Nations Tournament. A Big Ten All-Freshman selection for the Gophers last year, Lindgren skated in 32 games for Minnesota with 50 blocked shots and seven points (one goal, six assists) before an injury ended his rookie season in March.
A defenseman from Farmington, Minn., Knoepke is also a product of the USNTDP. The incoming freshman has collected a multitude of medals with the Red, White & Blue including gold medals at the 2017 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, the 2017 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament and the 2016 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament. He has also claimed bronze medals at the 2016 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament and the 2015 Under-17 Four Nations Tournament.
A forward from Eden Prairie, Minn., Mittelstadt claimed a bronze medal with the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team at the 2016 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship.
Gopher Hockey alum and current Northern Michigan head coach Grant Potulny will serve as an assistant coach for the U.S. squad. Potulny has helped the Red, White & Blue capture World Junior Championship gold medals in 2013 and 2017.
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