rundown of Michigan's riser
Porter named to US WJC team
Kevin Porter's been named to the USA's 2004 WJC team.
That makes five Wolverines on the team: Porter, Mike Brown, TJ Hensick, Matt Hunwick, and Al Montoya. Winning the GLI would be a miracle. Isn't it time to move the GLI from its current date? The GLI is generally critical, with a game against MSU every other year and usually a potential matchup with a BC, UNH, or UND. Michigan's year-end pairwise ranking is usually heavily affected by games against good teams. And every year UM is short--so are the other teams in the tournament not named Michigan Tech, although given UM's dependence on the NTDP, UM's usually shorter.
Phil Kessel made the team, but Kessel's leaning to Minnesota now so he's too small and way overrated instead of the best American prospect since Modano (note: Kessel stance will change back to "Golden God" if he chooses the Wolverines -ed).
Another interesting name on this year's WJC team: the much-travelled Robbie Schremp, who basically used the NTDP as leverage to weasel a trade from his OHL team last year. Schremp's uber talented, but mercurial and not particularly interested in defense, which makes him just like Kessel, Hensick, and Patrick O'Sullivan. It'll be interesting to see how the mighty mice do.
One name not on the roster is Jack Johnson, even though the seventh defenseman is Minesota high school player Brian Lee. What the hell is that? Johnson is currently a top-5 lock for the 2005 NHL draft (should it actually occur), just destroyed everyone at the Four Nations tournament, and is actually a member of the NDTP. There's no reason Johnson shouldn't be on the team.
Early prediction: Silver. Only the Canadians can match the US's offensive firepower, and they're deeper on D.