USA Hockey confirmed today that Stefan Noesen will not participate in the 2013 World Junior Championships in Russia next week due to his current suspension in the Ontario Hockey League.
The 6-foot-1, 206-pound center is not eligible to return to the OHL until Jan. 11 due to a hit he dished out December 8 against the Oshawa Generals. Noesen, 19, is a member of the Plymouth Whalers and is a native of Plano, Texas. The 2011 first round (21st overall) draft pick of the Ottawa Senators has played in 26 games where he has scored 17 goals along with nine assists. This will be a key loss for the United States, who failed to advance to the medal round last year in Alberta. They are trying to medal away from North America for the first time since 2007 where they captured bronze in Sweden.The decision to upheld the OHL suspension came down from the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) when they released this statement:
The IIHF recognizes suspensions from certified leagues in member federations and because there will be seven games remaining in Noesen’s suspension prior to the start of the IIHF World Junior Championship, Noesen will not be eligible for participate in the tournament.
The IIHF has prior precedence in respecting league suspensions as recently as last season when the IIHF upheld a 20-game suspension assessed to Niagara IceDogs’ forward Tomas Kuhnhackl and Kuhnhackl did not play for Germany in the 2012 World Junior Championships.
Noesen was in New York training with the team at the New York Rangers practice facility when he learned his fate Sunday evening when he was notified by USA Hockey general manager Jim Johannson. Johannson feels for Noesen but respects the decision of the IIHF. “We lose a good player, a good solid player,” Johannson said. “He was one of those guys looking forward to playing in his first championship. Here’s a guy who was never suspended in two previous seasons in the OHL and, then, one forecheck play ends up determining his fate this year. I think that’s hard for everybody involved in the decision. In the end, we’ll have to work on the process as administrators” he told NHL.com Monday.
With the roster down to 26, Johannson and his staff will continue to evaluate players through today when they depart for Helsinki, Finland later today. They will practice for another five days and have exhibition games against Sweden on Dec. 20 and Finland on Dec. 22. The final roster of 23 will be determined following the Finland exhibition game.
The Americans, who finished a disappointing seventh at last year’s tournament, open the 2013 WJC against Germany on Dec. 27 at 9 a.m. ET.
United States World Junior Championships Preliminary Schedule
- Dec. 27 vs Germany, 9:00 a.m. EST (Replay at 8:00 p.m. on NHL Network)
- Dec. 28 vs Russia, 9:00 a.m. EST (Replay at 8:00 p.m. on NHL Network)
- Dec. 30 vs Canada, 4:30 a.m. EST (Replay at 8:00 p.m. on NHL Network)