With just under 2 years to go until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, ProSportsBlogging.com will run a 6-part feature that will identify the hockey players that will likely represent their respective countries at the Olympic Games. The 6 hockey super powers to be covered include Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and USA.
Today’s featured country: USA
2010 Result: Silver Medal
Projected returning players: 13 (9F, 2D, 2G)
TEAM USA’S PROJECTED 2014 OLYMPIC ROSTER
Z. Parise – J. Pavelski – B. Ryan
P. Kane – P. Stastny – P. Kessel
M. Pacioretty – R. Kesler – B. Wheeler
J. van Riemsdyk – D. Backes – R. Callahan
FORWARDS: What Team USA lacks in skill in comparison to Sweden, Russia and Canada, they make up for with size and grit. It was tough leaving Derek Stepan off, but his versatility could earn him a spot as the 13th forward. Jason Pomiville was a tough one too, but I don’t see him ahead of Ryan, Kessel or Wheeler or as a fit on a 4th line. The toughest call was that last RW spot, as you could make a case that any one of Brown, Oshie or Okposo deserve it over Callahan.
R. Suter – R. McDonagh
K. Yandle – K. Shattenkirk
J. Johnson – J. Carlson
DEFENSE: While the common theme up front was size, the common theme on D is speed. All 6 are good skaters and all are excellent at moving the puck. Others in consideration that didn’t make the cut were Erik Johnson (inconsistent), Brooks Orpik (age, speed), Cam Fowler (weak defensively) and its too early to tell for rookies like Gardiner and Faulk.
GOALIES: Team USA will boast 2 of the NHL’s top goaltenders in Miller and Quick. Tim Thomas was not picked because he will be closing in on 40 years old and was therefore the odd man out. Americans probably won’t have a problem seeing as they are generally very patriotic and are likely still aggravated by his White House snub.
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.