Announced this evening, JT Compher, Tyler Motte, Dylan Larkin and Zach Werenski have been named to the finalized World Junior roster for the United States.
Motte, Compher and Larkin were expected make the team and with great camps there was never any doubt about their roster spots. Werenski was on the bubble until the end of the exhibition schedule when he used the final two games to lock up his roster spot.
Mike Downing played well but was caught in a numbers crunch and was cut on Tuesday. He will rejoin the team for the GLI.
Heading into the GLI, Berenson will have to dig deep into his bench to find four makeshift lines for a Wolverine team without their top line left winger, 2nd and 3rd line centers and their #1 defensemen. He will have two defensemen and four forwards to choose from to fill the spots.
The easy choice on the blueline is for Mike Chiasson to enter the lineup at right defense, where Nolan De Jong can move back to his natural left position to fill Werenski's spot. Sam Piazza has played sparingly this season on the 3rd pairing and could be an option, but Berenson isn't likely to put two freshman on the left side against Michigan Tech.
At forward, Berenson will most likely move Boo Nieves back to his natural position as a center and use either Justin Selman or Zach Hyman to fill the final vacated center spot. Both players played the position early in their careers, but have played on the wing almost exclusively for the past two years. Without a reserve forward who can play the position, Selman and Hyman are the two best options.
Reserve options to fill the wing spots are Evan Allen, Andrew Sinelli, Alex Talcott and Niko Porikos. Sinelli and Allen are going to play; both players have experience in the lineup and have been in both Top-6 and Bottom-6 roles. Alex Talcott has appeared in three games as a wing and is the best bet to fill the final wing spot, his last game action came November 1st against MTU. Niko Porikos has not dressed for a game this season.