Three Forwards, Two Defensemen and One Netminder Latest to be Named to U.S. Nat'l Under-17 Team
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Forwards Anders Bjork (Mequon, Wis.), Nolan Stevens (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and Joe Wegwerth (Brewster, N.Y.), along with defensemen Ryan Collins (Bloomington, Minn.) and Johnathan MacLeod (Dracut, Mass.) and netminder Blake Weyrick (Ojai, Calif.) have committed to join USA Hockey's National Team Development Program for the 2012-13 season, it was announced today. The players, all from the 1996 birth year, will compete as members of the U.S. National Under-17 Team.
"We are proud and excited to welcome these six players," said Peter Ward, director of player personnel for the NTDP. "The character and commitment level on each of these young men is outstanding."
Bjork appeared in 29 games for the Chicago Mission Midget Minor team of the High Performance Hockey League, tallying 14 goals and recording nine assists. His six game-winning goals were most in the HPHL, while his three power-play markers were a team best. Additionally, Bjork helped lead his team to the 2012 National Championship, Tier I Youth Under-16 semifinals.
Stevens played for the Los Angeles Junior Kings Midget Minor team of the Tier One Elite League. He averaged over a point per game (1.33), scoring 17 goals and adding 15 assists in 24 contests, missing time earlier in the year due to injury. He also helped lead his squad to the 2012 National Championship, Tier I Youth Under-16 semifinals.
Wegwerth comes from the Brewster Bulldogs of the Empire Junior Hockey League where he served as team captain during the 2011-12 season. He tallied 17 goals and collected 35 helpers in 34 games played.
Collins skated for Benilde-St. Margaret's (Minn.) High School of the Minnesota State High School League and notched one goal and recorded four assists in 29 games as the Red Knights claimed the 2012 MSHSL Class AA State Championship. He also registered a plus-11 rating on the season.
During the 2011-12 season, MacLeod skated for Kimball Union Academy (N.H.), helping the Wildcats claim the New England Prep School Ice Hockey Association championship. He collected 13 assists in 31 games.
Weyrick was most recently featured between the pipes for Shattuck-St. Mary's (Minn.), where he posted a 18-4-8 (W-L-T) record. He recorded a 2.43 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage.
NOTES: Wegwerth competed for Team USA in the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games from Jan. 13-22, 2012, in Innsbruck, Austria ... The 2012-13 U.S. National Under-17 Team will play in the United States Hockey League, the top junior league in the U.S. It will also compete in three international competitions, including the 2013 World Under-17 Challenge ... The U.S. National Under-17 Team will be comprised of two goaltenders, 12 forwards and eight defensemen ... The roster currently stands at 11 forwards, seven defensemen and one goaltender, having previously announced commitments by forwards Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass.), Jared Fiegl (Parker, Colo.), Ryan Hitchcock (Manhasset, N.Y.), Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich.), Ryan MacInnis (St. Louis, Mo.), Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y.), Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) and Chris Wilkie (Omaha, Neb.), along with defensemen Louis Belpedio (Skokie, Ill.), Nathan Billitier (Spencerport, N.Y.), Ryan Bliss (Bedford, N.H.), Jack Glover (Golden Valley, Minn.) and Joshua Wesley (Raleigh, N.C.).