Forward John Hayden ’17 has played an integral role in the success of the men’s ice hockey team this season, leading the squad with three goals and seven assists so far. Now, the 2013 Chicago Blackhawks draft pick has the chance to lead another team, this time on a global stage as an alternate captain for the U.S. National Junior Team.

Hayden was selected along with the University of Denver’s Will Butcher as alternates behind Jack Eichel, a Boston University freshman who has eight goals and 19 assists in the Hockey East conference this season.

The national team has already won practice matches against Germany and Sweden, where Hayden notched an assist. The United States is looking to build off last year’s fifth-place finish when the World Junior Championships begin on Dec. 26 with a game against Finland in Montreal’s Bell Center.

A member of the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship silver medal squad, Hayden is no stranger to international competition. Hayden served as one of the captains on the U.S. National Development Team, and was selected 74th overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. The forward was second among Yale freshmen last season with 16 points and already has 10 on this season.

The Bulldogs return from their break with a match against the Russian Red Stars on Dec. 27 at Ingalls Rink.