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Four players with ties to Colorado make the U.S. National Junior Team preliminary roster

By Jack Butler, SportsEngine, 12/03/21, 9:45AM MST

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Hub exclusive: Ty Smiiinac, Kaiden Mbereko, Sean Behrens and Carter Mazur will be at training camp with a chance to compete in the 2022 !!HF World Junior Championship.

Four players with ties to Colorado were selected to the U.S. National Junior Team training camp roster for the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship in Canada. Ty Smilanic (F), Kaidan Mbereko (G), Sean Behrens (D) and Carter Mazer (F) were named to the team.

Smilanic is sophomore at Quinnipiac University but was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He is a forward and has 29 points in 41 games for the Bobcats this season. He was the first player in Quinnipiac history to play in all 29 games as a freshman, and he was named to the Eastern College Athletic Conference All-Rookie team. He was selected by the Florida Panthers in the 2020 NHL Draft. He spent two seasons with the United States National Team Development Program, and prior to that, Smilanic played for the U16 Colorado Thunderbirds. 

Mbereko is from Aspen, Colorado, and began playing goaltender at the age of 5, and he is committed to playing at Colorado College. He has also played 10 games for the USHL's Lincoln Stars. In those games, he has a 3.23 GAA and a 0.893 save percentage. He represented Team USA at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championships, where he had a 2.85 GAA and a .927 save percentage in three games. 

Behrens has two connections to the state of Colorado. He is not only a freshman at the University of Denver, but he was also selected in the second round of the 2021 NHL Draft by the Colorado Avalanche. Behrens has 11 assists in 12 games as a freshman for the Pioneers.

Behrens is also no stranger to USA Hockey. The defensemen has 50 points in 51 games with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. Behrens was an alternate captain for Team USA during the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championships, and he had five points in four games in the tournament. 

Mazur is a sophomore at the University of Denver. He has 10 points in 12 games and owns a plus/minus stat of +7. He was selected by the Detroit Red Wings in the third round of the 2021 NHL Draft.

Goalies

Name Hometown Most Recent Team NHL Rights
Drew Commesso Norwell, Mass. Boston University CHI
Kaidan Mbereko Aspen, Colo. Lincoln Stars 2022 NHL Draft
Luke Pavicich Clarence Center, N.Y. University of Massachusetts 2022 NHL Draft
Dylan Silverstein Calabasas, Calif. U.S. National Under-18 Team 2022 NHL Draft

Defensemen

Sean Behrens Barrington, Ill. University of Denver COL
Brock Faber Maple Grove, Minn. University of Minnesota LAK
Luke Hughes Canton, Mich. University of Michigan NJD
Wyatt Kaiser Ham Lake, Minn. University of Minnesota Duluth CHI
Connor Kelley Maple Grove, Minn. University of Minnesota Duluth CHI
Tyler Kleven Fargo, N.D. University of North Dakota OTT
Ian Moore Salt Lake City, Utah Harvard University ANA
Scott Morrow Darien, Conn. University of Massachusetts CAR
Jake Sanderson Whitefish, Mont. University of North Dakota OTT
Jacob Truscott Port Huron, Mich. University of Michigan VAN

Forwards

Name Hometown Most Recent Team NHL Rights
Mathew Beniers Hingham, Mass. University of Michigan SEA
Brett Berard East Greenwhich, R.I. Providence College NYR
Thomas Bordeleau Houston, Texas University of Michigan SJS
Logan Cooley Pittsburgh, Pa. U.S. National Under-18 Team 2022 NHL Draft
Matt Coronato New York, N.Y. Harvard University CGY
Tanner Dickinson Perrysburg, Ohio Soo Greyhounds STL
Dominic James Plymouth, Mich. University of Minnesota Duluth 2022 NHL Draft
Matt Knies Phoenix, Ariz. University of Minnesota. TOR
Chaz Lucius Grant, Minn. University of Minnesota WPG
Carter Mazur Jackson, Mich. University of Denver DET
Declan McDonnell Lake View, N.Y. Kitchener Rangers TBL
Sasha Pastijov Bradenton, Fla. Guelph Storm ANA
Dylan Peterson Roseville, Calif. Boston University STL
Mackie Samoskevich Newtown, Conn. University of Michigan FLA
Red Savage Scottsdale, Ariz. Miami University DET
Landon Slaggert South Bend, Ind. University of Notre Dame CHI
Ty Smilanic Denver, Colo. Quinnipiac University FLA

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