Team USA is looking to defend their 2021 World Junior Championships Gold Medal this year and will be taking three Blackhawks prospects with them for the upcoming 2022 tournament in Canada. Landon Slaggert, Drew Commesso, and Wyatt Kaiser have been named to the Team USA final roster.
Introducing the 2022 U.S. National Junior Team! 🇺🇸 #WorldJuniors
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) December 14, 2021
Connor Kelley was one of the final cuts from Team USA’s pre-tournament selection camp.
Slaggert, a 2020 third-round pick by the Blackhawks, is making his second appearance with Team USA at the World Junior Championships after being a part of last year’s Gold Medal squad. The sophomore at Notre Dame has skated in 17 NCAA games this season and recorded five goals and 10 points for the Irish. He skated in all seven games at last year’s tournament for Team USA, but did not record a point.
Commesso was supposed to be with Team USA last year, but due to COVID restrictions, he and Boston University teammate Alex Vlasic were held back. Now Commesso gets his second chance to play for the U.S. in net and looks to be the No. 1 goaltender for the defending Gold Medalists. Commesso was the Blackhawks’ second-round pick in 2020 and has started 17 games for BU this season, holding a 6-7-3 record with a .900 save-percentage and a 2.82 GAA.
Kaiser, the other third-round pick for Chicago in 2020, will be making his first appearance for Team USA in any international competition in his Junior career. In his sophomore season at Minnesota-Duluth, Kaiser it playing in a top-pairing role and has skated in 14 games with a goal and seven points on the season.
Chicago will likely only have these three players as representation at this year’s tournament with no players on the Canadian roster and Lukas Reichel left off of Germany’s roster. Defensive prospect Michael Krutil was selected to the Czech Republic’s preliminary roster, but is still dealing with an injury with the IceHogs.