Nate Lyman, who will coach the United States at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championships, said that while winning back-to-back titles at the event would be a great feat, it certainly isn’t the driving force behind his team’s attempt to replicate. as a hero.
“I think it’s always there, above your head and in the cloud,” Lyman said. “But we didn’t win last year talking about it every day. We won the gold with preparation and work and that’s kind of our focus now. We will play well in the tournament if we prepare well for the tournament, that is our entire focus.”
WJC 2022 will be held from August 9-20 at Rogers Place in Edmonton. The tournament was originally scheduled to take place on December 26-January. 5 but was postponed after four days of play when the United States, Czech Republic and Russia had to lose a preliminary round match after players tested positive for COVID-19. The results of the December matches will not be counted when the tournament resumes.
The United States will join Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and Austria in the preliminary round of Group B. Canada, Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Latvia will play in Group A.
All tournament matches will be broadcast live in the United States on the NHL Network.
The United States has won the WJC Cup five times (2004, 2010, 2013, 2017, 2021), but has not won back-to-back titles.
Canada was the last team to win back-to-back championships, winning five consecutive championships from 2005-09.
Lyman is entering his twelfth season as a coach at Providence College. He’s reached the Frozen Four twice and won the NCAA Championship in 2015.
There are four players from the 2021 squad on the WJC 2022 roster: Forwards Brett Berard (New York Rangers) and Landon Slaggert (Chicago Blackhawks), the men of defense Brock Faber (Minnesota Wild) and Tyler Cleven (Ottawa Senators). straight ahead Matty Benners (Seattle Kraken) and the man of defense Jake Sanderson (Ottawa Senators) were also part of WJC 2021 and played in the tournament in December, but won’t play when the tournament resumes, each choosing instead to prepare for their NHL team’s training camp.
“We didn’t discuss who’s not here…that didn’t come at all,” Lyman said. “I’m proud of the men we have; they all want to represent their country. They play for their country and I think they’re going to be a really relentless group.”
Lehmann discussed the upcoming tournament, the expectations for his team and which players he could make an impact in a Q&A with NHL.com.
How difficult is it to narrow down this list and how important is having four returnees?
“We had the WJC group of 2023 at the same time as the WJC camp of 2022 (July 24 – August 3), so a lot of these guys were only here for the group of 2023. We only brought 28 for our group, but with there both groups were really good because There were some guys you could see who belonged to our group. It was a fun process. It was a difficult process when running two camps, but I thought it was good to have that other group around and be able to rate them. For the returning players, they played in the tournament and had success. in the tournament, so they will be the leaders of our team.”
Will the goalkeeper be the biggest question mark entering the tournament? And who might be the luckiest now?
“I think we have two people in Kaidan Mbiriko (2023 draft eligible) and Andrew Oak (2023 draft eligible) both showed up through camp. These two guys were playing at the fair games in Edmonton before the tournament started. So we will determine more after those matches.”
Was there a player who surprised you during development camp?
“Goalie Andrew Oke definitely surprised us. I don’t think any of us know much about him. He’s been really positive and has played some good hockey up until this point with Saginaw in the Ontario Hockey League. So for a guy he was one of the last additions to our camp when we came to know [goalie] Drew Commisso (Blackhawks) won’t be here, that’s a real positive.”
Do you have an idea of who you might have in the center, and can you make a top six out of the front group?
“Our five centers will likely consist of Dominic James (Black Hawks), Logan Cooley (Arizona Coyotes), Thomas Bordeleau (San Jose Sharks), Charlie Stramel (2023 draft eligible), Redmond Savage (Detroit Red Wings). We’ve done a lot of mixing and matching with font combinations. The top six can consist of Bordeleau, Matthew Knys (Toronto Maple Leafs), Coronato died (Calgary Flames), Cole… Carter Mazur (red wings), Maki Samoskevic (Florida Panthers) and Slaggert are also in the mix.”
The United States will repeat the Junior World Champion title if…
“We’re tough. I just think this has to be a team that comes together, plays as a team, and doesn’t hold back on anything. They keep coming and coming and coming.”
You’re going into your twelfth season as a coach in Providence. Do you consider yourself a college coach for life? Or are you open to other opportunities?
“I’m always listening. Like I said last year, you’re always high on inspiration.”
Photos: Mike Capless, American hockey