Team USA trimmed its roster to 24 for the upcoming IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship with Buffalo Sabres draft pick Casey Fitzgerald and Youngstown native Joe Cecconi making the cut.
The final roster will be announced by Dec. 24. Team USA needs to make one more cut among the defensemen.
Fitzgerald, a third-round draft pick by the Sabres in June, is a sophomore defenseman at Boston College with five goals and eight assists in 13 games this season.
He was a member of the U.S. National Under-18 Team that won gold at the 2015 Under-18 World Championship. He had four points (one goal, four assists) in seven games.
Cecconi was drafted in the fifth round by Dallas in June. The sophomore defender at Michigan has one assist in 16 games.
In a move that surprised many around social media, Team USA released Alex DeBrincat and Logan Brown. DeBrincat, signed by Chicago and playing for the Erie Otters, leads the Ontario Hockey League in goals (30) and is second in points with 60. Brown, drafted in the first round by Ottawa, has 21 goals in 15 games for the Windsor Spitfires. Brown suffered a wrist injury and has not played since Nov. 12.