USA Hockey Names Jake Sanderson to Preliminary National Junior Team Roster

The Whitefish native joins 29 other players seeking a spot to compete in the 2021 World Junior Championships

By Micah Drew
Jake Sanderson of Whitefish is the second Montana-born hockey player to be drafted by an NHL team. Photo by North Dakota Athletics

USA Hockey on Monday announced the preliminary roster for its 2021 U.S. National Junior Team. Among the 29 prospects is Whitefish native and former Glacier Hockey Association player Jake Sanderson.

Sanderson is one of nine defensemen listed on the preliminary roster. The group will attend a training camp in Plymouth, Mich., starting on Dec. 6. The roster will be trimmed to 25 players during the training camp and the final team will head to Canada in mid-December for the World Junior Championships, held in Edmonton, Alberta from Dec. 25-Jan. 5.

“We have a talented group and we’ll have some tough decisions to make,” John Vanbiesbrouck, general manager of the 2021 U.S. National Junior Team, said in a press release. “We continue to benefit from a deep player pool, and that’s credit to all of the organizations and volunteers developing the next wave of American talent.”

Sanderson, a first round NHL draft pick for the Ottawa Senators, is currently a freshman at North Dakota where he is a defenseman for the Fighting Hawks. He was a member and team captain of the U.S. Under 18 National Development Team Program before attending North Dakota.

The Fighting Hawks are slated to start the season on Dec. 2 and are currently ranked No. 1 in the NCAA by the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Men’s College Hockey Poll. The NCAA championships will be held in April.

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