COLUMBUS – Playing the role of Captain America in Buffalo next week will be Joey Anderson.
The sophomore at the University at Minnesota-Duluth was named the captain of the U.S. National Junior Team which will play in the IIHF Men's World Juniors Championship in Buffalo.
Anderson played for the U.S. team which won the gold medal last year. The third-round pick of the New Jersey Devils in 2016 is ready for the leadership position.
"It's going to have to be just an all-around game," Anderson said. "I'm going to have to be a guy that's very responsible defensively. Set a tone playing hard against the other team and conversely in the offensive zone I'm going to have to be one of those guys that's burying my chances. I think just helping to create offense and create space for the guys I'm playing with."
Anderson had two assists in last year's tournament, but Team USA coach Bob Motzko saw a player expand his role over the course of the 11-day event.
"What makes him a captain is just every day is the same for him in his work ethic and his commitment and his passion for the game," Motzko said. "To have him on the team a year ago, and he developed a role. He took a very strong role on our team last year. He didn't have it at the beginning. As the tournament went on, he quickly showed how responsible he was with important minutes."
Team USA wraps up camp on Tuesday then heads to Jamestown for its first exhibition game against Belarus at Northwest Arena. The U.S. will play Sweden in its final pre-tournament game on Dec. 22 in Erie (Pa.) Insurance Arena.
The tournament opens Dec. 26 with the U.S. playing Denmark at 8 p.m. in KeyBank Center.