COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Nick Blankenburg and Andrew Peeke will represent the Columbus Blue Jackets in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships in Tampere and Helsinki, Finland from May 13-29. 24 players will comprise the 2022 U.S. Men’s National Team.
Blankenburg was a rookie this past season and didn’t join Columbus until early April after he and the Michigan Wolverines were eliminated in the Frozen 4 semifinals.
Meanwhile, Peeke played all 82 games in 2021-22 during his third year for CBJ. It was a much bigger role for the defender who had previously played just 33 games while sitting behind Seth Jones, David Savard and Michael Del Zotto.
During his seven games with the team, Blankenburg scored one goal and contributed two assists.
Blankenburg played four years of high school hockey at Romeo High School in Washington, Michigan. He wasn’t heavily recruited out of high school, so he opted to play for Victory Honda, a team in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League.
During that season, Blankenburg switched from forward to defense and the next year played in the Alberta Junior Hockey League where he was noticed by a Michigan scout. The 23-year-old had to pay his own way during his first three years with the Wolverines before being put on scholarship this past season.
While attending Michigan games this season to watch the newly-drafted Johnson, Blue Jackets’ scouts took notice of Blankenburg who totaled 14 goals and 15 assists in 38 games this season. Columbus wasn’t the only team that came calling, but Blankenburg ultimately decided to sign with the Blue Jackets.
Former Blue Jackets defenseman and NHL all-star Seth Jones will also play for the U.S. team.