A few weeks ago, forward Evan Barratt was invited by Team USA to join its preliminary roster in Everett, Washington, and undergo tryouts. Final cuts have been made, and Penn State’s electrifying sophomore will officially make program history as the first Nittany Lion to represent any nation in an international tournament at the 2018-19 IIHF World Junior Championship. The tourney begins Dec. 26, with Team USA opening play against Slovakia at 6:30 p.m. EST from Victoria, British Columbia.
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) December 23, 2018
During Barratt’s trial period and during the team’s pre-tourney scrimmages, he was often slotted on the top line, and played well sandwiched between wingers that were locks to make the final roster. In their first preliminary matchup, Team USA won in miraculous comeback fashion to edge WJC favorite Russia 3-2. Jason Robertson knocked in a redirect off a long-range shot from Barratt to open the scoring, giving our boy the assist. In their second matchup, the Americans spanked the Czech Republic 6-2.
FIRST LINE EVAN BARRATT https://t.co/e7xYia2kh7
— Kaitlyn Dividock (@kaitdivi) December 21, 2018
If that wasn’t evidence enough that he’d make it, Barratt’s top-ranked statistical résumé so far this season has been his most notable calling card (it’s what got him the invite in the first place), and it undoubtedly played a role the coaching staff’s decision. He's tops in the nation in points with a stellar 29 (13 goals, 16 assists) in only 17 games played. Barratt also plays on the best line in all of college hockey, boasts an extremely high I.Q., and can find his teammates anywhere on the ice for goals.
If he can stymie his skating issues and keep them to a minimum against the much better defenders he'll face in this international tournament compared to what he usually goes up against in the college ranks, he’s going to be a game-changing, powerful asset for the American offense.
Team USA plays out of Group B. All games are televised by NHL Network in the States (all times Eastern).
- Wed. 12/26 - vs. Slovakia - 6:30 p.m.
- Fri. 12/28 - vs. Kazakhstan - 10:30 p.m.
- Sat. 12/29 - vs. Sweden - 10:30 p.m.
- Mon. 12/31 - vs. Finland - 10:30 p.m.