Courtesy of USA Hockey

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Hockey today named the 29 players that have been invited to its pre-tournament camp beginning Dec. 17 in Troy, Rochester, Jamestown and Amherst, N.Y., and make up the preliminary 2011 U.S. National Junior Team roster.

The camp will include exhibition games against Rensselaer's men's ice hockey team (Dec. 19), the Czech Republic (Dec. 21) and Norway (Dec. 23). The final U.S. National Junior Team 22-man roster will be announced prior to Team USA's final exhibition game against Norway.

The 2011 U.S. National Junior Team will compete at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, Dec. 26, 2010-Jan. 5, 2011, in Buffalo and Niagara, N.Y.

"We're excited with the group of players coming to the camp," said Jim Johannson, general manager of the 2011 U.S. National Junior Team and also the assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. "It was difficult to get down to the 29 and we'll have some tough decisions to get down to our final 22-man roster, but that's a good problem to have."

Among those invited to the camp are eight returning players from the gold medal-winning 2010 U.S. National Junior Team, including goaltender Jack Campbell (Port Huron, Mich.); defenseman John Ramage (Chesterfield, Mo./Univ. of Wisconsin); and forwards Ryan Bourque (Boxford, Mass.), Jerry D'Amigo (Binghamton, N.Y.), Chris Kreider (Boxford, Mass./Boston College), Jeremy Morin (Auburn, N.Y.), Kyle Palmieri (Montvale, N.J.) and Jason Zucker (Las Vegas, Nev./Univ. of Denver).

Also highlighting the preliminary roster are 11 players from the gold medal-winning 2010 U.S. National Under-18 Team, including Campbell and Andy Iles (Ithaca, N.Y./Cornell Univ.) in goal; defensemen Adam Clendening (Niagara Falls, N.Y./Boston Univ.), Justin Faulk (South St. Paul, Minn./Univ. of Minnesota Duluth), Derek Forbort (Duluth, Minn./Univ. of North Dakota) and Jon Merrill (Brighton, Mich./Univ. of Michigan); and forwards Connor Brickley (Everett, Mass./Univ. of Vermont), Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor, Calif.), Matt Nieto (Long Beach, Calif./Boston Univ.), Brandon Saad (Gibsonia, Pa.) and Zucker.

For the complete roster, click here.

NOTES: The U.S. will be defending its 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship gold medal, having defeated Canada, 6-5, in overtime, to claim the title last year in Saskatoon, Sask. For a full tournament schedule and ticket information, visit BuffaloWorldJuniors.com ... For information on Team USA's pre-tournament exhibition games in Troy, Rochester and Jamestown, N.Y., click here ... The U.S. preliminary roster includes 18 first or second-round National Hockey League Draft picks, including nine first-rounders. Additionally, six players are NHL draft eligible in 2011 .... A total of 13 states are represented on the U.S. preliminary roster, with Minnesota and Massachusetts leading the way with five players each. New York and California are right behind with four players apiece ... Since 2000, Team USA has a .642 winning percentage (42-3-5-19-5/W-OTW-OTL-L-T) in the IIHF World Junior Championship and has medaled on three occasions, including gold in both 2004 and 2010 ... Keith Allain, head men's ice hockey coach at nationally-ranked Yale University, is the head coach of the U.S. National Junior Team. He will be assisted by Mark Osiecki, head men's ice hockey coach at The Ohio State University; Phil Housley, head boys' ice hockey coach at Stillwater (Minn.) high school; and Joe Exter, goaltending coach at USA Hockey's National Team Development Program ... Jim Johannson is serving as the general manager of Team USA for the second consecutive year. Meanwhile, Tim Taylor, former U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team head coach and longtime Yale University men's ice hockey head coach, is also serving his second straight year as Team USA's director of player personnel ... From July 30 - Aug. 7, 44 of the top U.S. under-20 players, including 24 of the 28 invitees to Team USA's pre-tournament camp, took part in USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y. For complete camp coverage, click here.