LA Kings: Alex Turcotte, two others will play for Team USA in WJC

LA Kings (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /

LA Kings 2019 first-round pick Alex Turcotte and two other prospects will officially suit up for Team USA in the WJC.

Just one day after 2020 number two overall pick Quinton Byfield and Jordan Spence were named to Team Canada’s WJC roster, the LA Kings will have three prospects playing for Team USA. Alex Turcotte, Arthur Kaliyev, and Brock Faber all locked down roster spots for the Americans.

Turcotte was the Kings’ prize in the 2019 NHL Draft, selected with the fifth overall pick. Before spending a year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Turcotte played for the USNTDP under Ontario Reign head coach John Wroblewski. After two years in the program, Turcotte played one season in Madison, logging nine goals with 17 assists.

The 19-year-old played for Team USA last January, tallying two assists in five games, but he sees room for improvement this time around.

"“I didn’t think I had the best tournament by my standards,” Turcotte told “It hurts knowing that I didn’t help the team as much as I could have. It goes that way sometimes. I tried my best and I know everyone in there gave it their all. I think that’s why it hurts so much because we all wanted to win for our country and everyone was sacrificing and it’s just unfortunate.”"

Fellow forward Arthur Kaliyev will join Turcotte. A first-round talent, Kaliyev slipped to the Kings with the 33rd overall pick in the second round in 2019. Like Turcotte, he’ll be making his second appearance for Team USA after scoring six points (4G, 2A) in five games a year ago.

In the OHL, Kaliyev has been a monster, logging 102 and 98 points in the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 campaign, respectively.

Something important to monitor is where Turcotte will play throughout this tournament. The natural centerman has been linemates with Ducks’ Trevor Zegras and Kaliyev, lining up at the wing in scrimmages. The LA Kings’ prospect pool is so deep up the middle that a couple of centers will be forced to move to the wing. Could this be a good preview for Turcotte?

The newcomer here is defenseman Brock Faber. Drafted in the second round of the 2020 NHL Draft, the Maple Grove, Minnesota has been part of the Golden Gophers’ amazing start in the regular — a perfect 8-0-0 entering Saturday night. The 18-year-old will have Minnesota pairing mate Ryan Johnson on Team USA as well, and the duo has remained attentive to what’s going on with the Gophers’ hockey program during their absence.

"“I actually stayed in my room and watched it,” Faber said regarding Minnesota’s series against Michigan. “I watched it with Jackson LaCombe and Ryan Johnson. It was a lot more nerve-racking watching than playing. It was super fun to watch though and glad they ended up taking home the sweep.”"

Team USA will open up WJC competition against Russia on December 25.