Dec. 6, 2006
Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame freshman defenseman Kyle Lawson (New Hudson, Mich.) has been selected to the 22-man U.S. Junior National Team roster that will compete in the World Junior Championships later this month. The tournament will be held from Dec. 26, 2006 through Jan. 5, 2007 in Leksand and Mora, Sweden and features the top players in the world under the age of 20.
Lawson becomes the 10th Notre Dame hockey player to play for the U.S. Junior National team and the first since 2004 graduates Brett Lebda and Rob Globke played for the 2001-02 team. Other Irish players to play for the United States include: Jack Brownschidle (`76-’77, `78-’79), Ben Simon (`96-’97, `97-’98), Joe Dusbabek (`97-’98), Dan Carlson (`98-’99), Connor Dunlop (`99-’00, `00-’01), Brett Henning (`99-’00), David Inman (`99-’00), Globke (`00-’01, `01-’02) and Lebda (`01-’02).
In being named to the team, Lawson said, “This is really a great honor. Everyone wants to play for his country and to be able to play for Coach (Ron) Rolston again and some of my former teammates from the Developmental Program, is really an honor for me.”
“I tried out two years ago and didn’t make it,” added Lawson. “The second time around this past summer, I was more comfortable and played better. I thought that I had a good camp and it was a great experience. It’s something that you dream about and I thought I had a chance to make it. “
A seventh round pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes, Lawson was a member of the National Team Developmental Program in 2004-05 when he played for the U.S. Under-18 Team based in Ann Arbor, Mich. While with the Under-18 team, he played on a pair of gold-medal winning teams at the Four Nations Tournament and the Under-18 World Championships.
At Notre Dame, Lawson has played a key role in the early-season success of the Irish who are currently 12-3-1 overall and ranked fifth in the nation. He is tied for the team lead among defenders in scoring with one goal and seven assists for eight points in 16 games. His +14 rating leads the Irish and ties him for the best +/- mark in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA). He will miss four regular-season games for the Irish while playing in Sweden – the Northern Michigan series (Dec. 30-31) and the Robert Morris games (Jan. 5 and 7).
The 5-11, 205-pound defenseman is one of four players from the CCHA on the team, joining goaltender Jeff Zatkoff (Miami), defenseman Jack Johnson (Michigan) and forward Justin Abdelkader (Michigan State). In all, 17 players from Division I schools, led by five from the University of Minnesota, make up the team. Teams from the National Hockey League already have drafted 18 of the players selected and three are draft eligible this season.
The U.S. Team will play a pair of exhibition games versus the Czech Republic (Dec. 20) and Switzerland (Dec. 22) before opening pool play on Dec. 26 against Germany. The U.S. is in the same pool with Germany, Canada (Dec. 27), Slovakia (Dec. 30) and Sweden (Dec. 31). The quarterfinals will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 2 with the semifinals on Jan. 3 and the championship game scheduled for Friday, Jan. 5.
2006-07 U.S. JUNIOR NATIONAL TEAM
Goaltenders (2)No. Name Ht. Wt. DOB R/L Hometown/Current Team/NHL Rights30 Jeff Frazee # 6-0 187 5/13/87 L Burnsville, Minn./Minnesota (WCHA)/New Jersey Devils37 Jeff Zatkoff 6-1 165 6/9/87 L Chesterfield, Mich./Miami (OH) (CCHA)/Los Angeles Kings
DEFENSEMEN (7)No. Name Ht. Wt. DOB R/L Hometown/Current Team/NHL Rights4 Taylor Chorney# 5-11 194 4/27/87 L Hastings, Minn./North Dakota (WCHA)/Edmonton Oilers6 Erik Johnson# 6-4 222 3/21/88 R Bloomington, Minn./Minnesota (WCHA)/St. Louis Blues3 Jack Johnson# 6-1 215 1/13/87 L Ann Arbor, Mich./Michigan (CCHA)/Los Angeles Kings2 Kyle Lawson 5-11 205 1/11/87 R New Hudson, Mich./Notre Dame (CCHA)/Carolina Hurricanes22 Brian Lee*# 6-3 205 3/26/87 R Moorhead, Minn./North Dakota (WCHA)/Ottawa Senators17 Jamie McBain 6-1 186 2/25/88 R Faribault, Minn./Wisconsin (WCHA)/Carolina Hurricanes23 Sean Zimmerman 6-2 201 5/24/87 R Denver, Colo./Spokane Chiefs (WHL)/New Jersey Devils
FORWARDS (13)No.Name Ht. Wt. DOB R/L Hometown/Current Team/NHL Rights18 Justin Abdelkader 6-1 210 2/25/87 L Muskegon, Mich./Michigan State (CCHA)/Detroit Red Wings16 Mike Carman 6-0 183 4/14/88 L Apple Valley, Minn./Minnesota (WCHA)/Colorado Avalanche11 Jim Fraser 5-11 181 1/16/87 R Port Huron, Mich./Harvard University (ECACHL)5 Blake Geoffrion 6-1 192 2/3/88 L Brentwood, Tenn./Wisconsin (WCHA)/Nashville Predators9 Nate Gerbe# 5-5 169 7/24/87 L Oxford, Mich./Boston College (HEA)/Buffalo Sabres27 Patrick Kane 5-10 166 11/19/88 L Buffalo, N.Y./London (OHL)/2007 Draft Eligible24 Trevor Lewis 6-1 196 1/8/87 R Murray, Utah/Owen Sound (OHL)/Los Angeles Kings88 Peter Mueller# 6-2 194 4/14/88 R Bloomington, Minn./Everett (WHL)/Phoenix Coyotes8 Kyle Okposo 6-0 200 4/16/88 R St. Paul, Minn./Minnesota (WCHA)/New York Islanders12 Jack Skille# 6-1 202 5/19/87 R Madison, Wis./Wisconsin (WCHA)/Chicago Blackhawks19 Ryan Stoa 6-3 220 4/13/87 L Bloomington, Minn./Minnesota (WCHA)/Colorado Avalanche21 Bill Sweatt 6-0 187 9/21/88 L Elburn, Ill./Colorado College (WCHA)/2007 Draft Eligible20 James vanRiemsdyk 6-3 190 5/4/89 L Middletown, N.J./U.S. National Under-18 Team/2007 Draft Eligible
*2005 U.S. National Junior Team Member#2006 U.S. National Junior Team Member