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WNYers Declan McDonnell, Luke Pavicich named to USA World Jr. camp roster

WNYers Declan McDonnell, Luke Pavicich named to USA World Jr. camp roster

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Declan McDonnell hockey

Declan McDonnell of Lake View was the final pick of the NHL Draft on Oct. 7, 2020. The Tampa Bay Lightning selected McDonnell in the seventh round, at No. 217.

Lake View native Declan McDonnell and Clarence Center product Luke Pavicich been named to the preliminary Team USA Roster for the World Junior Championship that opens Dec. 26 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta.

The pair of 19-year-olds are part of the 31-player selection pool that will gather for training camp at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich., starting Dec. 12. The final roster will consist of 25 players.

McDonnell, a 5-foot-10 right winger, was the final player selected in the 2020 NHL Draft, taken in the seventh round by Tampa Bay at No. 217 overall. He has six goals and eight assists in 19 games this year for the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. He had two assists in 16 games last year for the Syracuse Crunch while playing in the AHL after the OHL was shut down due to the pandemic.

Pavicich, a goalie who is former member of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, is a freshman on the roster of defending NCAA champion Massachusetts. He has yet to appear in a game as the Minutemen (7-4-1) have exclusively used graduate student Matt Murray in goal thus far. 

Pavicich, who is eligible for the 2022 NHL Draft, played last season for the Kenai River Brown Bears of the North American Hockey League, earning all-NAHL second team honors and the nod as Midwest Division MVP. He went 19-14-1 with a 2.86 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. The Brown Bears are a Tier II junior team based in Soldotna, Alaska.

The Team USA roster includes six members of the gold medal-winning 2021 team and will be coached by Providence's Nate Leaman. There are three players from the University of Michigan who were first-round picks in July: Matty Beniers, No. 2/Seattle; Luke Hughes, No. 4/New Jersey; and Mackie Samoskevich No. 24/Florida, and defenseman Jake Sanderson, the No. 5 overall choice by Ottawa in 2020. He is the son of former Sabres' winger Geoff Sanderson, a standout on the 1999 Stanley Cup Final team.

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