Riley Barber Named Team USA Captain For World Juniors

Photo credit: USA Hockey

Washington Capitals prospect Riley Barber has been named captain of Team USA for the upcoming World Junior Championships, per USA Hockey.

Barber, who is set to play on the first line with Danny O’Reagan and Nicolas Kerdiles, is one of just three returnees from last years’ gold medal-winning squad.

Barber’s captaincy means one Caps prospect has been a team captain at each of the last three WJC tournaments. One year ago, Filip Forsberg was captain of Team Sweden. In the 2012 tournament, Evgeny Kuznetsov led Team Russia.

A late cut from the 2013 team, defenseman Matt Grzelczyk, and energy forward Andrew Copp will be the alternates.

The announcement came shortly after Americans’ 3-2 win over Finland in a pre-tournament exhibition game in which Barber and another Caps prospect DiPauli recorded assists on goals by O’Reagan and Brady Skjei respectively.

After the game, Team USA made two cuts, sending forwards Henrik Samuelsson and Brett Pesce back home. Their roster is now down to 24, which means they need to cut one more player before the tournament.

The Caps’ late-round 2012 picks Barber and Connor Carrick are locks to make the roster. DiPauli, on the other hand, was considered a bubble player before camp. He played left wing on the fourth line on Sunday in a line-up featuring 13 forwards (LW Zach Stepan was the extra player). It may very well be that these two are the candidates for the final cut.

  • capslass

    I found the TSN schedule on line. Does anyone know on what channel these games will be broadcast in the US? I got hooked on this tournament last year and hope to watch as many games as possible.

    In unrelated news, my waiter at Zetinyas on Saturday saw my Marcus jersey and said his son plays with Marcus’s nephew and his family were over in Sweden watching the tournament. Small world.

  • capslass
  • Bob

    For some reason this kid reminds me of Mike Richards, is that a fair assessment to make?

  • Jake Ettawakapow

    Only Caps/Prospects I know to Captain their national junior team are Ovechkin, Alzner, Johansson, Kuznetsov, Forsberg, and now Barber. Good sh*t Caps. But Y U TRADE Forsberg?? :((((((

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland
  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Hm, I don’t know. When I think of Mike Richards, I think of a smothering two-way center who is sand paper to play against and is also good offensively at times. Barber is very talented winger offensively, great forechecker, has a good shot, super fast, but from what I’ve seen, he needs to continue to develop his game defensively and in neutral (like all young kids). So I guess to answer your question — I guess not.

  • Jake Ettawakapow

    :’(

  • Bob

    Fair point, i love the way this kid plays though and i cant wait for him and Andre to be playing in the phone booth. On another point i like how we have been drafting kids who show great leadership, i feel like that gets overlooked sometimes in scouting

  • Chris Cerullo

    I’ve likened him to a taller Brian Gionta.