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Former Bulldogs Samberg, Perunovich named to U.S. roster for World Championship

Dylan Samberg and Scott Perunovich, a pair of Northland natives who helped Minnesota Duluth win back-to-back NCAA titles, will play for the U.S. at the 2023 IIHF Men's World Championship.

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Minnesota Wild
Winnipeg Jets defense Dylan Samberg (54) gets into position against the Minnesota Wild during the third period on April 11 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Nick Wosika / File / USA Today Sports

DULUTH — A pair of Northland natives and back-to-back national champion defensemen from Minnesota Duluth, Dylan Samberg of Hermantown and Scott Perunovich of Hibbing, will represent the United States at the upcoming 2023 IIHF Men’s World Championship this month in Finland and Latvia.

Of the 22 players named to the Team USA roster on Thursday, Samberg and Perunovich are among the 13 players to have never played in the Men’s World Championship or the Olympics, though both have played for the U.S. in the World Junior Championship.

Samberg, 24, is coming off his first full NHL season with the Winnipeg Jets. He posted two goals and six assists in 63 games to help get the Jets to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Winnipeg was ousted in five games in the first round by the Vegas Golden Knights.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek (14) tries to screen St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington (50) with defenseman Scott Perunovich (48) defending in Game 5 of the first round of the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 10, 2022, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Matt Blewett / File / USA TODAY Sports

Perunovich, 24, has battled injuries since winning the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as a Bulldog in 2019-20. A St. Louis Blues prospect who played 26 NHL games a year ago, all 22 of his games this season came in the American Hockey League with the Springfield Thunderbirds, recording two goals and 18 assists.

Samberg and Perunovich played three seasons together at UMD from 2016-2020, winning back-to-back NCAA titles in 2018 and 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic robbed them of a shot at a third consecutive title in 2020 when the season was shut down early.


Both have played together on a U.S. men’s national team, as well, helping the Americans take bronze at the 2018 World Junior Championship. Samberg — who led Hermantown to back-to-back Class A state high school championships in 2016 and 2017 — picked up a silver medal at the 2019 World Juniors.

The 2023 IIHF Men’s World Championship runs May 12-28 with the U.S. opening up against Finland at 8:20 a.m. CDT in Tampere, Finland. The U.S. begins training in Munich, Germany on Saturday, May 6, and plays a pre-tournament game against the Germans on Tuesday, May 9.

The U.S. has finished in the top four six of the last nine years, earning four bronze medals in that span (2013, 2015, 2018, 2021).

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