RALSTON, NE - On Tuesday afternoon, USA Hockey released the roster for the team that will compete for the United States at the 2019 World Junior A Challenge. Head Coach and General Manager, David Wilkie, Forward Rhett Pitlick, Defenseman Christian Berger were selected to represent the United States and the Omaha Lancers.
The yearly tournament that will take place this year in Dawson Creek, British Columbia December 7th -15th. The USA will compete against Canada East, Canada West, Czech Republic, and Russia.
This will be the second consecutive year that Coach Wilkie will be named to the staff at the WJAC. Last season, Wilkie helped lead team USA to a gold medal victory over Russia, 2-0, and finishing the tournament with a 3-1-1-1 record. Wilkie skated for Team USA at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, and in the World Junior Championships in 1993 and 1994.
Rhett Pitlick will also be making his WJAC debut. A native of Chaska, MN, Pitlick was drafted in the 5th round, 131st overall to the Montreal Canadiens in the 2019 NHL Draft. In his first season in the USHL, Pitlick has played in 15 games and has recorded 10 points (4 G, 6 A). Pitlick is committed to the University of Minnesota.
Christian Berger will be making his WJAC debut. The defenseman is in his second USHL season playing in 87 career games. In his USHL career, Berger has been recorded with 30 points. This season with Omaha, Berger has totaled 10 points in 15 games. Berger is committed to Penn State University.
The 2019 U.S. Junior Select Team will be led by Tri-City Storm President of Hockey Operations and Head Coach, Anthony Noreen. Assistant coaches include David Wilkie (OMA), Shane Fukushima (WAT), and Mark Abalan (SC).
“It’s a tremendous honor once again,” David Wilkie said. “When the country calls, you go, as simple as that ...America.”
The World Junior A Challenge is in its 14th year, and the United States is competing for the 13th time. The United States has captured the World Junior A Challenge title eight times, including five gold medals in the last seven years (2012-14, 2016, 2018).
A tournament schedule and more information about the 2019 World Junior A Challenge can be found here.
10 different USHL teams are represented on the roster, including 6 teams with multiple players: Waterloo 3, Tri-City 3, Chicago 4, Omaha 2, Sioux City 2, Lincoln 2.
For the complete roster and schedule click here.