The United States is one of hockey’s superpowers yet we haven’t gotten the chance to see a proper Team USA since the 2014 Olympics.
World championship teams are always a mishmash of talent and the U.S. had a watered down roster at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey thanks to many of its best players representing Team North America instead. At Pyeongchang 2018, Team USA will be a mixture of mostly ex-NHLers, European-based players and college kids.
We recently took a gander at how Team Canada might have looked with NHLers at the Olympics and we’d be remiss if we didn’t do the same and examine the potential firepower a Team USA lineup could’ve boasted in South Korea.
America’s management group would’ve had a difficult time finalizing a 25-man roster considering the impressive depth of talent the country has—there have been more than 200 American-born players suit up for at least one game this NHL season. If there were no limitations on which players a GM and his staff could select, however, rest assured Team USA would be a bona fide gold medal contender in 2018.
There are those out there that believe USA Hockey is set to dominate the game internationally for years to come. It’s not entirely surprising either considering the new generation of American players currently taking the NHL by storm.
In previous major international tournaments USA Hockey has made a concerted effort to build their rosters to match up well with Canada in terms of size and physicality. That strategy hasn’t resulted in any gold medals though, so we took a different route and crafted a more youthful roster, rich with skill, creativity and speed.
With that in mind, here’s what Team USA could’ve looked like at the 2018 Games.
Johnny Gaudreau — Auston Matthews — Brock Boeser
Jack Eichel — Vincent Trocheck — Patrick Kane “A”
Max Pacioretty — Joe Pavelski “C” — Phil Kessel
Brandon Saad — Ryan Kesler — Blake Wheeler “A”
Extras: Dylan Larkin, Matthew Tkachuk
Ryan Suter “A” — John Carlson
Zach Werenski — Seth Jones
Cam Fowler — Jaccob Slavin
Extras: Shayne Gostisbehere, Charlie McAvoy
Extra: Cory Schneider
There are only nine holdovers from the World Cup team and 10 returnees from the fourth-place 2014 team that mailed in the bronze medal game after losing a 1-0 heartbreaker to Canada in the semifinal.
The strength of our 2018 squad is clearly at forward, but it’s perhaps the most well-rounded contingent of American players ever assembled top to bottom.
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Source:: Sportsnet.ca – Sports news