Wisconsin sophomore forward Luke Kunin has been picked to join Team USA’s 27-man preliminary roster for the upcoming World Junior Championships in Montreal and Toronto from Dec. 26-Jan. 5.
The Badger captain will join some of the best young American players in preparation for the competition, a tournament the United States has won three times, most recently in 2013.
Kunin has previous international experience, scoring six goals in seven games and captaining the team to help the United States win the 2015 IIHF World U18 Championship with Badger Associate Head Coach Don Granato serving as the head coach of that team.
This season, Kunin leads the Badgers with nine goals and ranks second on the team with 14 points in 14 games played. He led the Badgers as a freshman last season with 19 goals.
Kunin’s participation marks the first time since 2014 in which a UW skater will participate in the tournament, with Nic Kerdiles skating for the U.S. team that lost in the quarterfinals.
The players will attend training camp Dec. 16-20 at HarborCenter in Buffalo, New York, followed by an additional camp in Oshawa, Ontario from Dec. 20-24. The U.S. will play pre-tournament games Dec. 21 against Switzerland and Dec. 23 against the Czech Republic.
The roster will be cut down to 23 before the event begins. The final team is expected to be named by Dec. 24.
The competition starts on Dec. 26 when the U.S. faces Latvia at 2:30 p.m. at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.