The United States men’s hockey team at next month’s Winter Olympics won’t feature any current NHL players, but there will be plenty of New England talent skating for the stars and stripes.
Because the NHL and International Olympic Committee couldn’t come to an agreement that would send NHL players to South Korea, this year’s tournament won’t feature the best players in the world.
But that leads to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for other players across the hockey world, as AHL players on one-way contracts and players in other professional leagues across the globe will take the place of NHL players.
USA Hockey announced its rosters Monday during the Winter Classic, and if you’re a fan of New England hockey, you’ll notice plenty of familiar names, including former Boston College standout Brian Gionta, who was named team captain.
NEW ENGLAND NATIVES: Mark Arcobello (Milford, Conn.); Chris Bourque (Boston); Bobby Butler (Marlborough, Mass.); Ryan Donato (Scituate, Mass.); John McCarthy (Boston); Noah Welch (Brighton, Mass.)
HOCKEY EAST/ECAC ALUMNI: Arcobello (Yale), Bourque (Boston University), Butler (New Hampshire), Donato (Harvard), Brian Gionta (Boston College), Matt Gilroy (Boston University), Jordan Greenway (Boston University), Ryan Gunderson (Vermont), Broc Little (Yale), McCarthy (Boston University), Brian O’Neill (Yale), Welch (Harvard)
Keith Allain (Worcester, Mass.; Yale) and Scott Young (Clinton, Mass.; Boston University) also were named to the Team USA coaching staff where they’ll work under head coach Tony Granato. Gloucester, Mass., native Ben Smith, who played at Harvard and had coaching stints throughout New England, is the director of player personnel.
Here’s the full Team USA roster (with more goalies to be added at a later date).