Gabe Perreault and Drew Fortescue named to 2024 U.S. National Junior Team Preliminary Roster

NHL: NHL Draft
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers top two picks from the 2023 NHL Entry Draft just made some big news.

USA Hockey named 29 players to the preliminary roster of its 2024 U.S. National Junior Team today. Among the camp invites are Rangers 1st Round Pick Gabe Perreault and 3rd Round Pick Drew Fortescue. The 29 players invited includes three goaltenders, ten defensemen, and sixteen forwards hailing from eleven different stats. Minnesota led the way with seven representatives. 24 of the 29 players named have been drafted by National Hockey League teams, including ten first round selections and seven second-round choices.

The pair of New York Rangers prospects will report for training camp at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan from December 14th-16th. The camp serves as an audition for a spot on the final 25-player roster which will represent the United States in the 2024 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Gothenburg, Sweden from December 26th, 2023 through January 5th, 2024.

The final roster for the U.S. Team is expected to be announced by December 17th.

“We’re excited with the group we’ve selected,” said John Vanbiesbrouck, general manager of the 2024 U.S. National Junior Team and also the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. “With the depth of our talent pool, it’s always challenging to narrow it down, and as we go through the process I’m always reminded of the terrific volunteers we have across the country at the grassroots level who help our players in their development.”

USA Hockey

Gabe Perreault and Drew Fortescue named to US Junior Roster

Gabe Perreault
Gabe Perreault (Photo Credit: BC Athletics)

Perreault and Fortescue are two of seven players currently playing for the Boston College Eagles. Also invited to camp are goaltender Jacob Fowler (Montreal 2023 3rd), defenseman Aram Minnetian (Dallas 2023 4th), and forwards Cutter Gauthier (Philadelphia 2022 1st), Ryan Leonard (Washington 2023 1st), and Will Smith (San Jose 2023 1st).

Following a weekend series split against Northeastern University Huskies, Boston College dropped one spot to number two in this week’s United States College Hockey Online Division I Men’s Poll. The team has a record of 12-3-1 overall and has one final game before the holiday break against Jaroslav Chmelar and the Providence College Friars scheduled for Saturday, December 9th at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Gabe Perreault is leading the team in points with twenty three scored in sixteen games played. That mark is good for eighth nationally, while his nineteen assists are tied for second in the nation. His eleven assists in Hockey East conference play are tied with projected 2024 first overall pick Macklin Celebrini of Boston University, while being tied for fourth in conference points. Drew Fortescue has also contributed offensively with three goals on the season so far. He has been tasked with a shutdown defensive role, consistently skating on the top pair for the Eagles, and skating against the opposition’s top offensive units despite being a freshman. Boston College sits tied for second in the Hockey East Men’s standings, tied with Maine Black Bears at 16 points in 8 games played.

The New York Rangers prospects are two of 21 players with prior experience representing the Team USA internationally, as both played for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. The Under 18 team having won gold this spring under the guidance of current New York Rangers assistant coach Dan Muse.

David Carle (University of Denver) will serve as the head coach of the 2024 U.S. National Junior Team. He is joined by Steve Miller (University of Minnesota), Brett Larson (St. Cloud State University), and Garrett Raboin (Augustana University) serving as assistant coaches.

An announcement of the final roster is expected by December 17th. Team USA earned bronze in the 2023 event, and has medaled in six of the last eight IIHF World Championships. Their last gold medal came in 2021.

Team USA is in Group B of the tournament, and will face preliminary round opponents Czechia, Norway, Slovakia and Switzerland. The Americans have two pre-tournament games on Thursday, December 21st against Sweden, and Saturday, December 23rd versus Canada. All games will air on NHL Network, which is the exclusive home of the IIHF World Junior Championship in the United States. E.J Hradek, Dave Starman, and Jon Rosen will call all contests for Team USA.