2024 IIHF World Junior Championship

2024 World Juniors: Team USA Roster Announced Led By Gauthier, Hutson

2024 World Juniors: Team USA Roster Announced Led By Gauthier, Hutson

Returnees Cutter Gauthier and Lane Hutson were among the 25 players named to Team USA's final roster for the 2024 WJC.

Dec 16, 2023 by Chris Peters
USA Coach Carle Is Confident In Preparation

The U.S. National Junior Team roster has been set. USA Hockey announced Saturday the 25 players that will comprise its team at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship, which begins Dec. 26 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The U.S. picked its roster at the conclusion of a three-day camp in Plymouth, Mich., which included 29 players. Team USA had to make four cuts to get down to the group they wanted. 

Though USA named 25 players to the roster, IIHF rules allow just 23 to be active during the tournament. The two extras can be activated in the event of an injury or illness, but once a player is replaced on the active roster, they cannot return to game action for the remainder of the tournament.

Here are the 25 players USA Hockey will be bringing overseas where USA will play pre-tournament games against Sweden (Dec. 21) and Canada (Dec. 23) before dropping the puck for real against Norway on Dec. 26.

Team USA Roster


Gavin Brindley (CBJ), Quinn Finley (NYI), Cutter Gauthier (PHI), Gavin Hayes (CHI), Isaac Howard (TBL), Ryan Leonard (WSH), Rutger McGroarty (WPG), Oliver Moore (CHI), Frank Nazar III (CHI), Danny Nelson (NYI), Gabe Perreault (NYR), Will Smith (SJS), Jimmy Snuggerud (STL), Carey Terrance (ANA)


Zeev Buium (2024), Seamus Casey (NJD), Ryan Chesley (WSH), Drew Fortescue (NYR), Lane Hutson (MTL), Aram Minnetian (DAL), Eric Pohlkamp (SJS), Sam Rinzel (CHI)


Trey Augustine (DET), Jacob Fowler (MTL), Sam Hillebrandt

Final Cuts

James Hagens (2025), Patrick Geary, William Whitelaw (CBJ), Jake Livanavage

Roster Analysis

Team Makeup

The U.S. will enter the tournament with one of the best forward groups of any team with a top nine full of first-round draft picks and highly-skilled players. The goaltending tandem of Trey Augustine and Jacob Fowler also looks like the best in the tournament. 

On defense, USA's roster is littered with high-end puck movers and players that can push the pace. They will lack size, however, and may find defending the interior against bigger, stronger teams a bit more challenging, but USA's coaching staff spent most of the week talking up how much they believe in the group they have on the blue line.

USA's forward depth may ultimately be its strength with four of its seven returning players led by Cutter Gauthier and Jimmy Snuggerud, who were on the top line last year. Meanwhile, they'll be able to trot out a fourth line that has a good mix of speed, tenacity, size and defensive prowess led by No. 4 center Danny Nelson, who was a standout in camp over the first two days and showed that he'll have a multi-faceted role on this team that will include power play time.

Meanwhile, the blue line includes each of the top three scoring defensemen in college hockey in Zeev Buium (25 points), Seamus Casey (23 points) and Lane Hutson (20 points). On top of that, their top two goalies ended last season with championships. 

With seven returnees, USA has an experience factor. Additionally, 14 of the players on the roster are 19, giving the U.S. an older team than they took last year. They often say it is a 19-year-old's tournament and it's certainly better to be on the older side in this event. The age groups dictated that to be the best course of action.

Rutger McGroarty's Status

That Rutger McGroarty is getting on the plane to Europe is about all the sign you need that USA expects him to be cleared to play after spending the last four weeks on the shelf, some of which was spent in the hospital, dealing with an undisclosed injury. McGroarty gets 10 more days to recover and get medically cleared.

USA will have the option of not registering all of the forwards ahead of Game 1 against Norway in the event McGroarty cannot play yet. It may not come to that, though, as McGroarty was a participant in all drills in practice despite wearing a red non-contact jersey. He looks like he's getting closer to playing, but the decision remains in the hands of the doctors.

Aram Minnetian's Status Clearer

Though Aram Minnetian has been suspended by Hockey East for one game, I've been told that Team USA does not expect him to face additional discipline from the IIHF and that the situation is believed to be resolved. A source told me that the IIHF's rule on honoring suspensions is more for longer-term suspensions and more significant infractions.

Minnetian will have to sit out the one game the next time he is on Boston College's active roster, but will not have to do the same for Team USA at the World Juniors. That said, we still don't know exactly which of USA's defensemen will be the "extra" who is there only in case of injury or illness, so Minnetian still has to battle for playing time.

Why James Hagens, Others Got Cut

Hagens being cut is probably the surprise of the day considering how great he played over the summer and how good of a season he has had, but he's still a late birthdate 2006 and it became evident over the two days of camp that there was not going to be a defined role for him.

With Cutter Gauthier likely going in as USA's No. 1 center, Will Smith having his line intact from BC and Frank Nazar having a familiar trio to play with, Hagens' spot on the depth chart suddenly made it look like he might be the 13th forward. If USA is going to take a young player, they don't want him to just sit around the whole tournament and play sparingly. 

Camp also exposed some of Hagens' limitations due to physical maturity. His incredible skill, creativity and hockey sense were evident, but the 19-year-old players were able to more successfully dislodge him from the puck and he had a harder time getting it back. 

Hagens not making this particular roster takes nothing away from him as a prospect or his promise as a future star. This might be one of the deepest forward groups the U.S. has taken to this tournament and you don't want to stash your 17-year-old on the fourth line or as a 13th forward, or even worse, as an extra in the press box. Now he can continue his season, play meaningful games and focus on the World U18s in the spring.

As far as the others go, Patrick Geary was invited to see if he might be able to fill a depth defense role and play on the penalty kill. It was harder to see if he gave them anything more than the players they were more familiar with, particularly among the left-shot defensemen and I think that answer turned out to be no. Geary getting into camp is a feather in his cap and he can return to Michigan State with some valuable experience.

Jake Livanavage may have been a longer shot, but as a left shot who can PK a bit, I thought he might make it. In the end, Aram Minnetian came in and had a very impressive camp after not being in the summer camp. 

 USA had invited an extra forward into camp with McGroarty's status still in the air. As the camp progressed and McGroarty's status solidified, William Whitelaw's role seemed fairly undefined. He wasn't going to be in the top nine and was not a natural fit for the fourth line. Meanwhile, Wisconsin teammate Quinn Finley made a strong case he can play on USA's PK and down their lineup and give them effective shifts, which made him the better option.

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