It’s a far cry from Kane, Fox, Matthews and Hellyback, that’s for sure.
The U.S. ice hockey team released its roster for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on Thursday, including as many as 15 college players from the NCAA. That means this team will have a lot of big game inexperience, but most of them already have American experience to some degree.
But what about the other 10 players? Defender David Wasokosey is the most experienced player of the trio at the men’s World Championship level, playing 10 games in the 2016 tournament. So it’s a fairly new team, and many weren’t expecting to challenge for gold.
That’s where the fun of it comes from, though. That’s exactly what happened in the famous 1980 Ice Wonders match with the Soviet Union. The U.S. brought in more veteran lineups in 2018, and it didn’t work out. So why not waver?
But that doesn’t mean veterans aren’t worth watching. ryan kennedy looks The U.S. lineup is already available among NHL draft prospects, so let’s take a look at which five veterans you need to keep an eye on during the Olympics:
Brian O’Neal, F
One of the few returning players from the team in 2018, O’Neal has managed to take his stock up a notch in the years since. O’Neal, who had 58 points in 2018-19 and has hovered around 50 for the next two years, is currently scoring 42 points in 41 games in his sixth year at the KHL Jokerit. O’Neal was a strong AHLer at some point with the Manchester Monarchs, but only had two assists in 22 games with the New Jersey Devils on display before going abroad. With his second Olympic appearance, he made a good choice to pursue a career in Finland.Plus, get four points in five games
Mann doesn’t have any NHL experience, but he’s had a great season in Sweden. After 13 games with Skelleftea AIK, Mann went 9-4-0 in his first year of professional hockey, including three suspensions and an impressive .930 save percentage. Mann was the top goalie in the 2019-20 NCAA Big 10 with a record of 18-13-4, six suspensions and a .939 save percentage. The way Mann plays, once his SHL contract ends at the end of the year, don’t be surprised if an NHL team asks for his services.
Kenny Agostino, F
Agostino played part of six seasons in the NHL, scoring a respectable 30 points in 86 games, mostly in secondary roles. But he wants a chance to thrive on a competitive professional team outside the NHL system, where he has scored 40 points in 46 games for the Nizhny Novgorod Torpedoes. This will be Agostino’s first opportunity to represent the United States at an international level, although he earned a two-game call-up to the U.S. national team development program in the 2009-10 season. He’s going to do whatever it takes to make it work in a scoring role.
Andy Miller, F
With 71 points in 39 games against Miami in 2010-11, Miele was once one of the game’s top college prospects. That never translated to NHL success, and although he was a near-per-game scorer for most of his AHL career, he later found a solid as one of the better Americans in the KHL. Family. Miller’s 36 points in 47 games for the Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo this year is third on the team’s scoring list behind Damir Zafyarov and fellow American Kenny Argos Tino. Miele has played in the German Cup and World Championship with Team USA, so this isn’t entirely foreign territory for him, even if the stakes have never been higher.
Steven Kempfer, D
Jack Sanderson will certainly be a bright spot on the blue line, but Kempfer is one of the more seasoned NHL veterans on the team, playing 231 games for part of nine seasons before finally leaving North America with Kazan AK Bars play together. He’s done well there and currently sits on the defensive end with 30 points, just three points behind second-placed Oliwer Kaski. Although he’s not a regular in the NHL, Kampfer’s experience should take into account the team’s goals and he’ll be a good mentor for the NCAA’s heavy blue line.