2012 WJC: Jason Zucker & Charlie Coyle Named To US Team

It comes as no surprise but the two Minnesota Wild prospects at Team USA's Selection Camp made the roster for the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championships. Both Jason Zucker (59th overall pick by Minnesota in 2010) and Charlie Coyle (28th overall pick by San Jose in 2010; acquired in the Brent Burns trade) will be returning to Team USA after being a part of the bronze-medal winning 2011 squad. Zucker also played on the 2010 gold-medal winner under-20 team.

As two of seven returning players, both prospects look to take key roles on the team.

Wild prospect Jason Zucker (photo from Zimbio)

Zucker has 24 points (11 goals - 13 assists) in 18 games as a sophomore at the University of Denver playing with 2010 Pittsburgh Penguins first round pick Beau Bennett. The 5'11", 174 lb Las Vegas native is a speedy forward who always plays at a high level and can be gritty and score. He is one of two players from the 2010 team, also coached by Dean Blais, on this year's team and looks to respond from having his 2011 WJC cut short by a Martin Marincin elbow. Last night was a good start as Zucker two assists in last night's 7-3 exhibition win over Switzerland.

Coyle has 14 points (3 goals - 11 assists) in 16 games for Boston University although he recently announced he would leaving the Terriers for Saint John of the QMJHL. The 6'3", 205 lb East Weymouth, Mass. native was named captain for the United States' exhibition game against Russia but who wears the "C" in the WJC has not been determined. He scored a goal and an assist in yesterday's win against Switzerland and look to be one of the top scoring options after doing the same in 2011.

In addition to Zucker and Coyle, four Minnesotans made the roster. Two University of Minnesota forwards, Nick Bjugstad (Blaine) and Kyle Rau (Eden Prairie), join University of Nebraska-Omaha forward Josh Archibald (Brainerd) and University of North Dakota defenseman Derek Forbort (Duluth).

The full roster can be found here.

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