Phil Housley, one of the longest-serving, dedicated, and successful players to wear the red, white, and blue as a player has been named head coach of the 2013 U20 American team that will compete at the World Juniors in Ufa, Russia.
The first international experience of Housley, who was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame last month, came exactly 30 years ago at the 1982 U20, and over the next 21 years he played at all levels for the United States.
“I’m so excited to be part of this team,” he said today via conference call in Colorado Springs, Colorado. “As a player, it’s an incredible honour to wear your country’s colours, and it’s going to be the same as a coach.”
The 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship will take place in Russia after four years in North America, a fact not lost on team general manager Jim Johannson. “It’s a different tournament when it’s in Russia,” he agreed. “Phil has played there, and that is one of the reasons we chose him. Phil’s knowledge of international hockey and his experience of working with players of this age were also important.”
Indeed, Housley has coached the U18 team, worked as an assistant with the U20 team, and has also been part of two World Championship staffs. He will be joined by assistants Mark Osiecki and Grant Potulny.
An offensive defenceman as a player, Housley is a different person behind the bench. “I’m intense back there, and I expect guys to compete. We’re a team that’s going to go to the tough places on ice and be efficient. I want our team to be relentless on the puck. And special teams will be important. We have only three returning players, so it will be an open competition for spots. I like that.”
The coaches will get their first glimpse of what the team might look at during the National Evaluation Camp from August 4-11, in Lake Placid, New York. The three returnees are Jacob Trouba, J.T. Miller, and John Gibson.
Also attending the camp will be nine members of the U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team that captured gold last April at the 2012 U18: Matt Grzelcyk, Seth Jones, Patrick Sieloff, Brady Skjei, Thomas DiPauli, Ryan Hartman, Nicolas Kerdiles, Trouba, and Miller.
The four goalies include: John Gibson, Jon Gillies, Garret Sparks, and Anthony Stolarz.
The 17 defencemen include: Connor Carrick, Brian Cooper, Shayne Gostisbehere, Matt Grzelcyk, Garrett Haar, Seth Jones, Jake McCabe, Connor Murphy, Mike Paliotta, Mike Reilly, Robbie Russo, Joakim Ryan, Jordan Schmaltz, Patrick Sieloff, Brady Skjei, Jacob Trouba, Andrew Welinski.
The 25 forwards include: Cole Bardreau, Tyler Biggs, Colin Blackwell, Reid Boucher, Travis Boyd, Alex Broadhurst, Thomas DiPauli, Steve Fogarty, Alex Galchenyuk, John Gaudreau, Rocco Grimaldi, Brian Hart, Ryan Hartman, Nicolas Kerdiles, Sean Kuraly, Mario Lucia, Stefan Matteau, J.T. Miller, Logan Nelson, Stefan Noesen, Blake Pietila, Adam Reid, Henrik Samuelsson, Vince Trocheck, Jim Vesey.