The long, sometimes interrupted, World Junior Championships tryout camps are finally over for Team USA and Team Canada and two current Wisconsin Badgers and one former Badger will be playing in the tournament. Sophomore forward Cole Caufield and Los Angeles Kings forward, and former Badger, Alex Turcotte will be representing the United States. Sophomore forward Dylan Holloway will be representing Canada.
Teammates➡️Rivals. Good luck to Dylan Holloway and Cole Caufield at the World Junior Championships!! pic.twitter.com/xvD8GTj5Ft— Crease Creatures (@CreaseCreatures) December 12, 2020
The World Junior Championships start on Christmas day and goes to Jan. 5 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, which just so happens to be where Holloway, a native of Bragg Creek, Alberta, will be playing his professional hockey once his career is done in Madison.
“It’s crazy, it’s an unbelievable feeling,” Holloway said shortly after the roster was announced. “Growing up as a kid, the World Juniors at Christmas time was the biggest deal ever, so now that I’m able to play in that, it’s a dream come true and I’m just so pumped.”
Holloway is the first Badgers player to be named to Canada’s team for the World Juniors since defenseman Cody Goloubef won gold in 2009. The last forward was Kyle Turris in 2008.
Caufield, out of Stevens Point, and Turcotte, out of Chicago, Ill., will be making their second straight appearances for Team USA and they’ll be looking to have more of an impact than they did last year. Caufield (one goal, one assist) and Turcotte (two assists) were held to a combined four points in their five games of the tournament.
“I think one of my problems last year was I was a little too hard on myself and I think it ate away at me a little bit,” Turcotte said. “It’s a huge tournament, and everyone in the whole world that follows hockey is watching it, and I think just enjoying the moment, having fun, bonding with the guys and trying to win a gold medal is all you can control. That’s what I was trying to do at select camp and it’s been a lot of fun so far.”
Todd Milewski of the Wisconsin State Journal notes, of Team USA: The Badgers have had at least one player on the U.S roster for the World Junior Championship in the last four years. Luke Kunin, captain of the 2017 team, was the last to win a gold medal. The United States enters the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship seeking its fifth medal in six years after earning a record four consecutive medals: gold in 2017, silver in 2019, and bronze in both 2018 and 2016.
There are nine current or former Big Ten players that made the cut:
Three Minnesota Golden Gophers (defensemen Brock Faber, Ryan Johnson and Jackson LaCombe), three Michigan Wolverines (defenseman Cam York and forwards Matty Beniers and Brendan Brisson) and one Notre Dame Fighting Irish player (forward Landon Slaggert).
Team USA’s first game will be on Christmas at 8:30 p.m. CST against Russia. All Team USA games will be televised on NHL Network. The rest of their preliminary games are against Austria (Dec. 26), the Czech Republic (Dec. 29) and Sweden (Dec. 31).