Team USA Has Announced Their Initial 16-man Roster
Team USA will look to regroup after falling short of expectations on the international stage in the past few tournaments. The American squad only has two bronze medals to show for in its past 11 world championship appearances. During that time they have lost two gold medal games to their rival Canada, who will once again be their biggest competition along with Russia.
On paper, the Americans look to have a very solid all-around team with good balance at every position. The expectations will be high, yet again, and anything short of at least a bronze medal would be considered a huge disappointment. With that being said let’s take a look at the initial 16 man roster for the American squad.
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadians
Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks
Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild
Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets
T.J Oshie, Washington Capitals
Derek Stepan, New York Rangers
Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks
Justin Abdelkader, Detroit Red Wings
Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild
Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets
Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers
John Carlson, Washington Capitals
Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lighting
Johnathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings
Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils
Who’s Left to Pick From?
It is hard to argue with any of the first 16 selections, and it is safe to say that most of these decisions were easy ones to make. Selecting the last 7 spots however, will prove to be difficult for team USA and General Manager, Dean Lombardi. Things would be a lot easier if he could select upcoming stars such as Johnny Gaudreau, Dylan Larkin, Brandon Saad, Jack Eichel and Seth Jones, but unfortunately their all under the age of 24 and are not eligible to participate. There are still plenty of options for the remaining 7 spots and these are some players Lombardi may be looking to add to the final roster before the June 1st deadline.
His first season with the Penguins has to be described as a disappointment so far, but he is a proven scorer who has five 30-goal seasons to his name. He also brings veteran leadership and international experience to the team. It would be very surprising if he didn’t make the final cut.
When healthy, he is a force to be reckoned with. He brings a combination of skill and grit to the team. His diversity also allows him to play in a scoring or checking role.
He brings speed and toughness to the squad. He also has a good scoring touch around the net, Kreider would be an ideal fit on the 4th line.
He may not be the sexiest name out there, but it is obvious that the American squad is looking to add gritty and tough minded players, according to the initial selections so far. Having already chosen guys like Kesler and Abdelkader to the team, Dubinsky seems to fit this mould nicely.
Playing on a bad Carolina team shouldn’t be held against him. He is a workhorse and has the poise of a veteran even though he just turned 24 years old. He has become a force on the power player leading all defensemen in goals.
He looks to heading towards another 40+ point season for the third straight year. He has great puck moving skills which leads to many scoring opportunities and is another great option on the power play unit.
He is very responsible in his own end, puck possession is his strongest attribute as he hardly turns the puck over. He also adds some scoring punch too, with 35 pts points this season which is 3rd among American defensemen.