Dean Blais led Team USA to the gold medal at the World Junior Championship two years ago in Canada. With the tournament headed back north again, USA Hockey is hoping Blais’ bunch can repeat its magic.
Blais was named the head coach of this year’s U.S. World Junior team on Friday at the Xcel Energy Center.
USA Hockey’s Jim Johannson said that Blais did a masterful job with the squad two years ago, which included UND’s Danny Kristo.
Blais said USA Hockey will do most of the evaluating during the season. He will take a short leave from UNO to coach the team.
Johannson laughed about the last time USA Hockey announced the World Junior coach at Xcel Energy Center. It was during the 2004 Final Five, when Blais was named coach. Blais later stepped down from that position when he signed on with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
USA Hockey expects to announce the World Junior evaluation camp roster in June before the draft. The camp will be held in August. USA Hockey will once again take 27-29 players to training camp in December and make final cuts there.