DUBUQUE, IA--Forward Willie Knierim can't wait to take the ice for his second season with the Fighting Saints come September. However, prior to puck drop on the USHL season, Knierim will once again get the chance to represent the stars and stripes. The Skokie, IL native was named to the 2015 U.S. Under-18 Select Team that will compete Aug. 10-15 at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Piestany, Slovakia.
"Very honored to be selected to represent my country in Slovakia at the U18 Ivan Hlinka tournament," Knierim said. "Can't wait to get started in August!"
No stranger to representing his country, Knierim is one of 10 players on the roster who helped the U.S. Under-17 Select Team secure second place at the 2014 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament, held last summer in Crimmitschau, Germany.
The Miami commit enjoyed a stellar rookie season with the Fighting Saints while beginning the year at just 16 years old. After signing a tender with the Fighting Saints, Knierim jumped right into Dubuque's lineup, skating in all 60 games, scoring 12 goals and adding 16 assists for 28 points. He caught fire in the playoffs, notching 4 goals and 3 assists in only 8 games.
Knierim participated at the USA Hockey Boys Select 17 Player Development Camp to be chosen for the final roster of 22 players. Fellow USHL players Hugh McGing (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Riley Tufte (Fargo Force), Henry Crone (Omaha Lancers), Ty Farmer (Youngstown Phantoms), Samuel Rossini (Waterloo Black Hawks), Mitch Eliot (Muskegon Lumberjacks), Cameron Dineen (Tri-City Storm).
The 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup will include teams from Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. With a third-place showing in 2014, Team USA has finished in the top three of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup 12 times since the tournament began in 1991.