Team USA, along with the 7 other competing national teams, have released their initial rosters of at least 16 players for the World Cup of Hockey 2016, the best-on-best international hockey championship that will be held Sept. 17 – Oct. 1 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
The balance of each team’s roster – a total of 20 skaters and three goaltenders – must be announced no later than June 1.
The initial roster is as follows:
- G Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning
- G Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings
- G Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils
- D Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets
- D John Carlson, Washington Capitals
- D Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers
- D Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild
- F Justin Abdelkader, Detroit Red Wings
- F Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
- F Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks
- F T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals
- F Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens
- F Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild
- F Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks
- F Derek Stepan, New York Rangers
- F Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets
There are a lot of names on this roster that you would expect. 12 players from the Sochi Olympic Games, including shootout hero T.J. Oshie, have been selected. There is one name that might not look so familiar: Justin Abdelkader of the Detroit Red Wings.
He is a high-energy player with lots of speed that plays a big role for the Red Wings. But in a best-on-best tournament? It’s a head-scratcher based on who else was available, especially when you’re only naming 16 players to start.
Team USA didn’t surprise anyone with their choice of goalies though, which will be the strength of their team. It will be interesting to see who gets the No.1 spot going forward. Quick was the guy in Sochi and was very good until the bronze medal game. He has the two Stanley Cups as well.
Their defense will be strong with three members of the Olympic Team returning and new face Dustin Byfuglien joining the defensive core.
Keep an eye out for the players still in the mix to be selected for the final roster. Players like Phil Kessel, Bobby Ryan, Kyle Okposo, Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan are all possiblities for offense.
On defense, Faulk is likely to be there, but then who else do they bring? Olympians Cam Fowler and Kevin Shattenkirk should be in the mix based on their experience. GM Dean Lombardi has a known affinity for Keith Yandle.
Team USA will be missing players though, due to the fact Johnny Gaudreau, Seth Jones and Brandon Saad are all competing for Team North America.
Along with the roster, the jerseys that Team USA will wear have been released as well.
The Adidas jerseys are foreshadowing what is to come, as Adidas will replace Reebok as the official outfitter of the NHL in 2017.
Personally, I like the jerseys. They look crisp and the diagonal “USA” lettering is something I LOVE. The Adidas stripes down the sides don’t even bother me that much because they blend with the rest of the jersey.
All-in-all, I’m pretty freakin’ excited to watch Team USA tear it up in Toronto this September. Here’s something that’s guaranteed to get you hyped up:
I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!