Minnesota also welcomes back freshman forwards Nick Bjugstad and Erik Haula, who were representing their countries at the World Junior Championship. Bjugstad had two goals and two assists for the bronze medal-winning U.S. team. The Finnish born Haula notched four goals and three assists in six games for Finland.
Season Overview: The U.S. Under-18 Team is 13-16-2-0 overall and 2-8-0 against NCAA competition. Their lone victories came against Bowdoin College and Southern Main. They haven't fared well against WCHA teams this season losing to Denver, Colorado College and North Dakota.
Prospect Preview: Minnesota fans get a glimpse of a future Gophers in forward Travis Boyd from Hopkins, Minn. The 5-foot-7, 176-pounder has nine goals and 11 assists in 31 games U.S Under-18 Team. Boyd has played well against NCAA opponents tallying three goals and one assist in 10 games. Boyd signed with Minnesota in November.
WCHA Flavor: Seven players on the U.S. Under-18 Team roster are currently committed to WCHA schools. The aforementioned Boyd, goalie Matt McNeely from Burnsville, Minn. is committed to the University of Minnesota Duluth and Jacob McCabe of Eau Claire, Wis. is committed to play for the University of Wisconsin.
Both the University of Denver and the University of North Dakota have two players from the team committed. Matt Van Voorhis from Edina, Minn., Zac Larraza from Scottsdale, Ariz. for the Pioneers and Rocco Grimaldi from Rossmoor, Calif., J.T. Miller from East Palistine, Ohio for the Sioux.