World Juniors Challenge roster has Minnesota flavor


USA Hockey has announced its roster for the World Junior A Challenge beginning Nov. 4th, and the group is looking very 10,000 lake-ish.

Of the 22 players on the U.S. roster, eight are from Minnesota, while six play their college hockey in the state.

Connor Hurley, Edina High School product and 2013 second-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres, headlines the list of players from Minnesota. He plays his college puck at Notre Dame.

Minnetonka hockey's Steven Johnson, a University of Minnesota commit, headlines those that will be playing their college hockey within our borders.

The tournament takes the best junior (pre-college) players from Russia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, and Canada, which is separated into two teams, and pits them against each other.

The tournament concludes on Nov. 10.

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Great hockey minds in Minnesota are well aware of the Wild's tremendous group of prospects waiting to make NHL names for themselves. Six of those prospects are playing in the World Junior Championships -- set to begin next week. Super prospect Mikel Granlund and Jonas Brodin, the Wild's 2011 No. 1 draft choice, are two of the six to keep an eye on.