Rangers News: USA Hockey releases Preliminary 2010 Junior Team Roster

Link: USA Hockey National Jr. Team

Among the Ranger Prospects named to the preliminary roster:

Ryan Bourque

Chris Kreider

Derek Stepan

Luke Walker

All forwards, no defensemen.

It's not surprising at all that Bourque and Stepan were named given their play earlier against the visiting Russian team and their play in juniors. Somewhat surprising might be the inclusion of free agent Luke Walker - who has certainly opened eyes with his performance over the last 6 months or so - both in Juniors and at the Rangers' training camp. Kreider is still adapting to the college game, but it's good to see him on the list.

[Note by Jim Schmiedeberg, 12/02/09 1:14 PM EST Here is the release from the Rangers:]

New York Rangers prospects Ryan Bourque, Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan were selected to USA Hockey's preliminary roster for the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team.  The three forwards will participate in a 29-player, three-day pre-tournament training camp from December 17-19 in Grand Forks, North Dakota, to determine USA Hockey's final roster for the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championships in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Bourque, 18, has skated in 26 games with the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) this season, registering 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 points.  The QMJHL rookie is currently tied for second on Quebec in goals, third in points and ranks fifth in assists.  Prior to joining the Remparts, Bourque appeared in 48 games with the USA Under-18 Development Team in 2008-09, recording 20 goals and 26 assists for 46 points, along with 42 penalty minutes in 48 games.  He helped Team USA capture the gold medal at the 2009 U-18 World Championships in Fargo-Moorhead, finishing with one goal and seven points in seven games.

The Beverly, Massachusetts native was originally the Rangers third round selection, 80th overall, in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Kreider, 18, has appeared in 12 games with the Boston College Eagles of the NCAA's Hockey East, registering four goals and eight points.  The freshman currently leads all first-year players on the team in goals, assists and points.  Last season, he finished sixth among all high school players in point per game average (2.15 points per game), and led Andover with career-highs in goals (33), assists (23) and points (56).  He entered the 2009 draft rated 14th among all North American skaters, and first among high school players, in the Central Scouting final rankings.

The Boxford, Massachusetts native was originally the Rangers first round selection, 19th overall, in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Stepan, 19, has skated in 14 games with the University of Wisconsin in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) this season, registering five goals and 10 assists for 15 points.  The second-year player currently ranks second on the Badgers in points and assists, and is tied for second in goals.  Stepan set a career-high for points in a game with a five-point night (one goal and four assists) on Friday at Michigan State.  Last season, he led all Wisconsin freshmen in goals (nine), assists (24) and points (33), and finished second on the team overall in points and assists.

The Hastings, Minnesota native was originally the Rangers second round selection, 51st overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

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