The decision-makers at USA Hockey understand that it’s a move that will come with criticism. Leaving an OHL star off the American team at the IIHF World Junior Championship leaves them open to second-guessing.
Still, general manager Jim Johannson and the group charged with shaping Team USA in the tournament -- that begins for them on Dec. 26 against Latvia -- did what they believed was the right thing in cutting Alex DeBrincat along with Logan Brown on Thursday.
DeBrincat is a high-profile prospect for the Chicago Blackhawks. He has 30 goals in 28 games this season with Erie, and is coming off a pair of 51-goal seasons.
You can already see the criticism now if the Americans get shut down offensively -- “Guess they didn’t need the guy who has 132 goals in three years!”
Johannson conceded that it’s always tough to make those final cuts, but believes the stats can be misleading.