Phil Housley, one of the greatest US born NHL defensemen to ever play, will coach Team USA against the world at the IIHF. What is the IIHF, it is the International Ice Hockey Federation World Under 20 Championship aka the World Junior Hockey Championship, also abbreviated (WJHC) or (WJC). Housley an 2004 United States Hockey Hall of Fame inductee who is second in scoring by a US player in the NHL, and also second in games played by a US born player.

Now on to the WJC, with the preliminary roster not quite finished, I want to focus on two defensemen, Connor Murphy and Seth Jones. Connor Murphy a Dublin, Ohio native, son of NHL defenseman Gord Murphy, Connor has the size and skill needed in the game of hockey these days. Murphy represented the United States internationally playing for Team USA in the 2011 IIHF World U18 Championships with Team USA. Connor scored 3 goals and had 1 assist in 6 games during the 2011 tournament, including the overtime game winning goal in the gold medal game against Sweden. With size and skill Connor Murphy can be a great asset to Team USA to get some hardware this year.

Another key player for Team USA on defense is Plano, Texas native Seth Jones. Seth is already considered one of the top prospects for the NHL 2013 Entry Draft, listed 6'4" 205lbs he has the size and defensive prowess that is needed in the ever changing game of the NHL. Seth the son of Brooklyn Nets assistant coach Ron "Popeye" Jones who found success in the NBA playing 11 seasons. Currently playing in the Western Hockey League (WHL) for the Portland WinterHawks, Seth Jones has 8 goals, 20 assists, 28 points, and has a stellar +27 so far this year. Jones has already tasted success playing for the World U-17 Hockey Challenge team that won a silver medal, and got the gold for the 2012 IIHF U-18 Championship.

So with no NHL on due to this ongoing lockout, maybe this can help put the hockey spotlight on these future NHLers. I know I'll be watching these guys, while screaming U-S-A! U-S-A!! U-S-A!!! at the tv. So hopefully Team USA can prove to the world that they are going for gold and nothing else.