NHL stars won’t go to Games, USA with college team

Fifteen players from the American university championship and eight others playing in European clubs are on the list of 25 hockey players selected for the United States team for the Beijing Games, after the withdrawal of the stars of the NHL.

Just before Christmas, the NHL had given up releasing its players for the Olympics (February 4-20), in order to preserve the progress of its championship disrupted by a surge of positive cases of Covid-19.

So failing to be able to solicit its best players, like many other nations represented in the NHL, as was the case in 2018 in Pyeongchang where Russia had won gold, Team USA had to draw on d other tanks.

« We are excited about the squad we have built. We are blessed with a deep talent pool…we are looking forward to fighting for a gold medal in Beijing« said John Vanbiesbrouck, general manager of the United States Olympic team.

Nathan Smith (Minnesota), the current leading scorer in American college hockey, is a logical part of the team. Just like his teammates Matthew Knies and Ben Meyers, Sean Farrell and Nick Abruzzese (Harvard), Matty Beniers and Brendan Brisson (Michigan).

Only one player who was part of the selection in 2018 is present: striker Brian O’Neill, who plays with Finnish club Jokerit. Hope Kenny Agostino (Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod), is also called.

Finally, seven players with past NHL experience will also make up the American team, including forward Nick Shore (Sibir Novosibirskcen / RUS) and defender Steven Kampfer (Ak Bars Kazan / RUS).

The goalkeeper called to start will be Strauss Mann, who plays in the Swedish league with AIK.

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