USA Hockey has pulled back the curtain on the players it will take to the 2018 Winter Olympics. And while you may not know some of their names now, part of the intrigue on the road to Pyeongchang, South Korea, will be learning more about this sundry group in the next seven weeks.
The U.S. announced the final rosters for the men’s and women’s teams Monday during the broadcast of the NHL’s Winter Classic amid much anticipation.
That was especially true for the men’s squad, which won’t include its usual assortment of NHL stars for the first time since the 1994 Games. Instead of Patrick Kane or Auston Matthews, the 2018 team includes a relatively anonymous group culled from collegiate and European professional leagues.
THE OLYMPIAN: Jordan Greenway to become first black U.S. hockey Olympian
In total, 15 on the 23-man roster have previous NHL experience, including familiar names such as U.S. captain Brian Gionta, forwards Mark Arcobello and Chris Bourque and defensemen James Wisniewski and Matt Gilroy.
They come from all corners of the globe — from the NCAA to Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.
The KHL, regarded as the world’s second-best league next to the NHL, has not said whether it will release players for the Olympics, a delay caused by the International Olympic Committee’s decision to ban Russia from competing in the 2018 Games. In this case, only four U.S. players would be affected. But general manager Jim Johannson said last week he was confident those named to the team Monday will suit up in February.
Introducing the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s, Women’s & Paralympic Sled rosters! #TeamUSA 🇺🇸
Details → https://t.co/JcdKE6nLsz pic.twitter.com/Kl774zltCX
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) January 1, 2018
The roster, finalized Wednesday, breaks down as such: 14 forwards, eight defenseman and one goalie.
Johannson said two goaltenders will be added by mid-January to fill the 25-man roster.
MORE: How the 2018 Olympics might’ve looked with NHL players
The women’s national team, on the other hand, has been training and competing all year. A gold medal favorite at Pyeongchang (unlike the men), the U.S. trimmed its roster from 25 to 23. They return 10 players from the roster that won silver at the 2014 Sochi Games and will be expected to contend with rival Canada once again, serving as USA’s best shot at a gold medal in ice hockey.
You remember the last time the men won: 1980, better known as the “Miracle on Ice.” That roster was comprised entirely of American collegiate players who upset the Soviet Union and Sweden for gold. There will be shades of that narrative this year with four NCAA players on the men’s roster.
The 2018 Olympics will take place Feb. 9-25. The women begin play first, Feb. 11 against Finland. The men follow Feb. 14 with their preliminary opener against Slovenia.
MORE: Team USA’s young goalie trio leads women into 2018 Olympics
2018 U.S. men’s Olympic team
Mark Arcobello, SC Bern (NLA)
Chris Bourque, Hershey Bears (AHL)
Bobby Butler, Milwaukee Admirals (AHL)
Ryan Donato, Harvard University (NCAA)
Brian Gionta, NHL free agent
Jordan Greenway, Boston University (NCAA)
Chad Kolarik, Adler Mannheim (DEL)
Broc Little, HC Davos (NLA)
John McCarthy, San Jose (AHL)
Brian O’Neill, Jokerit (KHL)
Garrett Roe, EV Zug (NLA)
Jim Slater, Fribourg-Gotteron (NLA)
Ryan Stoa, Spartak Moskva (KHL)
Troy Terry, University of Denver (NCAA)
Chad Billins, Linköping HC (SHL)
Jonathon Blum, Admiral Vladivostok (KHL)
Will Borgen, St. Cloud State University (NCAA)
Matt Gilroy, Jokerit (KHL)
Ryan Gunderson, Brynäs IF (SHL)
Bobby Sanguinetti, HC Lugano (NLA)
Noah Welch, Växjö Lakers (SHL)
James Wisniewski, EC Kassel Huskies (DEL2)
Ryan Zapolski, Jokerit (KHL)
Two more goalies TBA in January
2018 U.S. women’s Olympic team
Monique Lamoureux-Morando, Minnesota Whitecaps
Meghan Duggan, Boston Pride (NWHL)
Haley Skarupa, Boston Pride (NWHL)
Kelly Pannek, University of Minnesota (WCHA)
Brianna Decker, Boston Pride (NWHL)
Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, Minnesota Whitecaps
Gigi Marvin, Boston Pride (NWHL)
Hannah Brandt, Minnesota Whitecaps
Hilary Knight, Boston Pride (NWHL)
Dani Cameranesi, University of Minnesota (WCHA)
Kendall Coyne, Minnesota Whitecaps
Amanda Kessel, New York Riveters (NWHL)
Amanda Pelkey, Boston Pride (NWHL)
Lee Stecklein, University of Minnesota (WCHA)
Cayla Barnes, Boston College (HEA)
Megan Keller, Boston College (HEA)
Kali Flanagan, Boston College (HEA)
Emily Pfalzer, Buffalo Beauts (NWHL)
Kacey Bellamy, Boston Pride (NWHL)
Sidney Morin, MODO Hockey (SWHL)
Nicole Hensley, Lindenwood University (CHA)
Alex Rigsby, Minnesota Whitecaps
Maddie Rooney, University of Minnesota Duluth (WCHA)