Two NY Islanders prospects to represent Team USA at the World Junior Championship

Canada v United States: Gold Medal Game - 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship
Canada v United States: Gold Medal Game - 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages

Team USA finalized their roster for the 2024 World Junior Championship in Gothenburg, Sweden, yesterday, with NY Islanders prospects Danny Nelson and Quinn Finley making the final cut. It's the first time an Islander prospect will represent the stars and stripes since Oliver Wahlstrom did so in 2020.

Nelson and Finley both play collegiately, with Nelson at the University of Notre Dame and Finley at the University of Wisconsin. Both have been off to solid starts in their freshman campaigns, totaling 14 and seven points, respectively, this season.

The two universities have both often been represented on the American roster at the WJC, as Notre Dame's Landon Slaggert was named captain for the 2022 version, and Wisconsin has had one of their own on the roster for eight straight years.

Nelson and Finley were both long shots to make the team at the start of the year but have played their way onto the roster with their performances this season.

Nelson was a member of the USA U18 team that took home gold last year, playing as a third-line center behind first-round picks Will Smith and Oliver Moore. It appears Nelson may have overtaken Moore at this point, as he's been skating at practice lined up as the fourth-line center with Moore as an extra.

While Nelson has been centering the fourth line, Finley has been lined up beside him. Finley's shot and goal-scoring presence should play well alongside Nelson, who prefers to create and dish the puck.

The USA will begin pool play on Dec. 26 against Norway at 11 am EST. The red, white, and blue have a favorable group this year, avoiding Canada, Finland, and Sweden in group play.

It'll be an exciting time for Islanders fans to watch two of their own represent the USA, especially if they're to play alongside each other for most of the tournament.