Mt. Lebanon's Wey gets USA juniors roster spot
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Patrick Wey, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound defenseman from Mt. Lebanon and Boston College, made the cut Wednesday when Team USA announced its 22-man roster for the World Junior Championships, which begin Sunday in Buffalo.
The United States is the defending gold-medal team.
Wey, a sophomore and Washington's fourth-round pick in the 2009 NHL draft, has a goal and three assists in 16 games for the Eagles.
Three others with local ties did not make it that far. Power forward Brandon Saad of Gibsonia and defenseman Philip Samuelsson of Boston College and a Penguins second-round draft selection in 2009 were among the final cuts. Penguins 2010 first-round pick Beau Bennett, a forward, is hurt.
Saad's omission was a surprise based on his potential. He has been widely projected as a top-10 pick in the 2011 NHL draft, but he had no points in two preliminary games for the U.S.
"I've seen him play a couple of times, and I think he's going to be a real good pro when he matures," said Tom Fitzgerald, the Penguins' assistant to the general manager.
Fitzgerald said Samuelsson, the son of former Penguins defenseman Ulf Samuelsson, is Boston College's best defenseman and is good enough to play for Team USA, which also took Boston College defenseman Brian Dumoulin.
"Philip's had a real good, consistent year," said Fitzgerald, who is based in Boston and has seen Samuelsson -- and Wey and Dumoulin -- play several times. "He can play offense -- he can be on your second power play, and he's a good puck-mover -- but he can also play in the shutdown role.
"He's still one of our top prospects. There's not any shame in being one of the last guys cut."
Previously, defenseman Simon Despres, the Penguins' first-round pick in 2009, made Team Canada's roster, and forward Tom Kuehnhackl, a fifth-round pick by the Penguins this year, joined Germany's squad.
First Published December 23, 2010 12:10 am