Team USA is currently in the preliminary round of the World Juniors and have won each of their five games so far. Their next contest is against Slovakia which is the final game of that round before quarterfinals. You can catch it at 6 a.m. eastern on NHL Nework.
So far Washington Capitals prospects Ryan Leonard and Ryan Chesley have made impacts. In three games, Leonard has a goal and two assists. The eighth pick in this year's draft is also starring as a freshman for Boston College recording 18 points in 17 games with 10 goals and eight assists.
In USA's pre tournament game against Canada which resulted in a 6-5 overtime win, Leonard was named player of the game with two goals. In their 11-3 win over Switzerland, Leonard assisted on Zev Buium's one timer goal to open the scoring. Leonard would later get a power play goal. He added another assist in their 4-3 shootout win over Czechia.
Ryan Chesley was drafted by the Capitals in 2022 in the second roud at 37th overall. The University of Minnesota sophomore had a goal in that Friday win over Czechia and currenlty has two goals and four assists for six points in 18 games with the Golden Gophers.
If USA can go the distance the gold medal game will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Friday jan. 5. They currently sit at second place in Group B as Slovakia is the only other undefeated team in that group. So big one tomorrow morning.
What's made the Capitals fun to watch this season is the youth movement as the core has been either injured, slow, or banged up. Just three short years ago we were watching Connor McMichael with Team Canada. Now he graduated to the NHL. It can happen.