Team USA named its invitees to their World Junior Championship camp this afternoon, and Jeremy Bracco and Joseph Woll were the Maple Leafs prospects invited to camp. Announced at 4:40 PM (after telling everyone it would be announced at 4:00 PM), the camp invitee list can be found here.
After missing out on last year’s bronze medal winning team (possibly due to defection from Boston College to the OHL Kitchener Rangers), it’s almost impossible for USA Hockey to ignore Bracco this time around.
He played with the U17 (11 pts in 6 games) and U18 (13 pts in 7 games) teams, winning gold in both tournaments. I’m sure USA Hockey is hoping for more of the same this year.
Bracco has been a star in the OHL this year, putting up 49 points (16 G, 33 A) in 24 games so far. A 2 PPG pace is where he should be at this age, in this league, so it’s excellent to see how Jeremy has progressed this season. He sits 3rd overall in OHL scoring and is second in assists.
Woll has been solid in net for Boston College this year. In 15 games he’s put up a 2.44 GAA and a .919 sv%, excellent numbers for an NCAA freshman.
Woll didn’t play for Team USA last year, but did play for the U18 team, winning the bronze medal, and in the past has also played for the U17 team, winning silver.
The BC Eagles are 12-5-1 (7-0-1 where it counts, against conference opponents) and Woll has started 15/17 games, being pulled from the net only once.
His competition for goal are: 2016 Memorial Cup winning goalie Tyler Parsons (‘16: Calgary Flames, 13 GP, 2.31 GAA, .920 sv%) of the OHL’s London Knights who has never played for Team USA before, as well as Jake Oettinger (‘17 Draft, 12 GP, 1.92 GAA, .930 sv%) who starts for Boston University.
Jeremy Bracco is essentially a lock for Team USA, and Woll has a good chance at coming north to Toronto. Looking at raw numbers, it most likely will be a Boston pair in net with Woll and Oettinger being a solid pair for the Americans.
With several prospects in the tournament there’s plenty to watch for Maple Leafs fans in the 2017 World Junior Championships. Hopefully one of them takes home the gold.