With the Winter Olympics just a few weeks away, we are taking a look at the Olympic rosters and which players made it who didn't. The United States took advantage of the grand stage that is the Winter Classic to announce their Olympic team. Much like they did in 2010, USA Hockey revealed the participants after the game. 13 players who were on the 2010 Olympic team will represent the US in Sochi.
The Guys You Should Know
Ryan Miller has been the stalwart for the Sabres and he was one golden goal away from becoming a true American hero during the 2010 Olympics. Miller will be competing with Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and Jimmy Howard ofthe Detroit Red Wings. Miller has had another solid season for the Sabres. Miller is riding a solid season regardless of his win/loss record. Miller's .927 save percentage is his best since the last Olympic year in which he finished with a .929 save percentage. Miller also won the Vezina trophy that year, something he probably won't be in the running for at the end of this season.
Players You Probably Know
David Backes - Backes will be making his second Olympic appearance after playing in six games in Vancouver. In those games, Backes just had one goal and two assists. For St. Louis this season, Backes is on pace for a career high in goals with 16 goals in 35 games.
Dustin Brown - The Los Angeles Kings forward is playing in his second Olympics after making the 2010 squad. In six games in Vancouver, Brown didn't register a point and is in a scoring slump during the 2013-14 season as well.
Ryan Callahan - the Rochester native will be making his second Olympics. During 2013-14, he has been struggling with injuries and is currently on the injured reserve list with a sprained MCL. He has only played in 24 games this season, registering 13 points.
Patrick Kane - The Buffalo native and first overall pick in 2007 will be making his second Olympic Games. In the 2010 Games, Kane had three goals and two assists in six games played. This season, Kane has 23 goals and 53 points in 42 games played. He is on pace for his best career season this year.
Ryan Kesler - The Vancouver Canuck scored twice in his only other Olympic appearance in 2010 and has one World Championship appearance all the way back in 2005. In 41 games this season, Kesler has 15 goals and 27 points and is on pace for his highest goals/game average in three seasons.
Phil Kessel - Phil Kessel will be making his second Olympic appearance after playing in the 2010 games. In those games Kessel had just one goal and one assist in six games played. This season, Kessel has 20 goals and 37 points in 41 games played for Toronto. Kessel will also have family in the Olympic village as his sister Amanda was named to the Women's hockey team.
T.J Oshie - Oshie will be making his first ever Olympic appearance, but has played in three World Championships including last season. In 19 international appearances, Oshie has six goals and four assists. In 2013, Oshie has six goals and 27 assists. The 27 assists and 33 points are career high paces at this point in the season.
Max Pacioretty - Pacioretty is making his first Olympic appearance. He has some limited international experience with just the 2012 World Championships under his belt. During those Championships, Pacioretty had two goals and 10 assists in 12 games for the United States. This season, Pacioretty is on a torrid goal scoring pace for him, with 17 goals in 32 games. The .53 goals/game pace would be a career high if he finished this season as consistent.
Zach Parise - Parise is probably one of the higher profile American forwards on the roster. During the 2010 Olympics, Parise scored four goals and registered another four assists in six games played and has three World Championship appearances as well. This season, Parise has 15 goals and 27 points in 37 games but is currently suffering from a lower body injury that has him on the IR.
Joe Pavelski - Pavelski is making his second Olympic appearance after scoring three assists in six games during the 2010 Olympics. In his career, Pavelski is a stable 25-30 goal scorer and is on that pace again this season with 16 goals in 40 games with San Jose.
Paul Stastny - Stastny is making his second Olympic appearance after making his first appearance in 2010. During those Olympics, Stastny had one goal and two assists during the tournament. Stastny has some other international appearances though as he has played in three World Championships. In 25 games, Stastny has 14 goals and 32 points including seven goals and eight assists in the 2012 World Championships.
Derek Stepan - Stepan is making his first Olympic appearance and is one of the younger Americans on the roster at the age of 23. Stepan made a World Championship appearance in 2011 and had two goals and five assists during those games. During the 2013 season, Stepan has seven goals and 25 points in 41 games this season.
James van Riemsdyk - Van Riemsdyk has never appeared in an Olympic games and really has limited international experience with one World Championship appearance in 2011. During those games, he only appeared in two games and had just one goal. The only other international experience van Riemsdyk has is three World Junior appearances. During those games, he had 12 goals and 10 assists in 19 games played.
Blake Wheeler - Wheeler is also an Olympic rookie and only has one international appearance in the 2011 World Championships. During those games, Wheeler had two goals and three assists in seven games during those championships. Wheeler has stepped up his offensive game for Winnipeg though as he has 15 goals and 31 points in 42 games played this season.
John Carlson - The Washington Capital defenseman may have a limited career in the NHL, but he does have one of the more iconic goals in USA hockey history. He scored the game winning goal in the 2010 World Junior Championships that sealed the gold medal over Canada that season.
Those World Juniors is Carlson's only international experience and has only four full seasons in NHL play.
Justin Faulk - The 21 year old defenseman may be making his first Olympic appearance but he already has two World Championship appearances under his belt. During those Championships, Faulk had 4 goals and 10 assists in 18 games played. This season the defenseman just has three goals and 13 assists for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Cam Fowler - Fowler has played in the last two World Championships and has four NHL seasons under his belt. During those World Championships, Fowler wasn't an offensive machine with just two goals and six assists in 15 games played. Fowler's offense is not what has gotten him on the roster though.
Paul Martin - Martin has played in 607 career NHL games, but this will be his first career Olympic appearance. Martin's last international appearance was the 2007 World Championships in which he registered eight points in seven games played. Martin is not an offensive defenseman but has increased his offensive outputs since joining the Pittsburgh Penguins three seasons ago.
Ryan McDonagh - McDonagh will be making his first Olympic appearance in 2014 and adds to the youth that is on the American blue line. The 23 year old has four NHL seasons under his belt and just one international appearance in the 2010 World Championships. McDonagh is on pace for career highs in all offensive categories this season though.
Brooks Orpik - The Amherst native is making his second Olympic appearance after not registering a point during the last Olympics. Besides that appearance, Orpik only has one other World Championship under his belt which was played back in 2006. Orpik isn't going to light up the stat sheet for the Americans but should be a solid blueliner for the United States when the games start.
Kevin Shattenkirk - Shattenkirk is making his first Olympic appearance as well after playing five NHL seasons with two different teams. Shattenkirk did play in the 2011 World Championships and had just one goal and two assists in seven games played. Shattenkirk's offensive stats have improved since his last international appearance as he is on pace for career highs in goals scored and points scored this season.
Ryan Suter - Suter is the American's elder statesman on the blueline when it comes to Olympic and international experience. This will be Suter's second Olympics and he has also played in four World Championships for the United States. During the last Olympics. Suter registered four points in six games and is expected to get the bulk majority of the minutes during the 2014 games.
Jimmy Howard - The starting goaltender of the Red Wings was more of a surprise pick as there was some consideration for other goaltenders such as Tampa's Ben Bishop and Ottawa's Craig Anderson. Howard is mired in one of his worst seasons in the last five years with a .906 save percentage and 2.76 goals against average. But, the added experience that Howard brings was probably one of the tipping points in why he was selected
Jonathan Quick - Jonathan Quick has been the consensus second goaltender for the Americans and will still be elected to the Olympic squad even though he hasn't played since straining his groin on November 12th against the Sabres. Quick had been playing well for the Kings this season, but his replacements in Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones have both played just as admirably in his absence.
Players You Probably Don't Know
All of these players come from the NHL. There are no players from the AHL or college ranks on the roster.
United States Round Robin Schedule
Thursday February 13th vs. Slovakia
Saturday February 15th vs. Russia
Sunday February 16th vs. Slovenia