The ice hockey season continues for Jack Eichel and 16 other Americans who fell short of making the NHL playoffs.
Eichel, a 2012 Youth Olympian, was one of the first 17 players announced to the U.S. men’s hockey team for the upcoming IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. The group also includes Olympians Patrick Kane, Ryan Suter and James van Riemsdyk.
The full roster, which will include 22 skaters and three goaltenders, will be announced ahead of the tournament, which takes place May 10-26 in Kosice and Bratislava, Slovakia.
Because the world championship runs concurrent with the Stanley Cup playoffs, the U.S. roster is limited to players who have either been eliminated from the playoffs or who aren’t yet in the league. In recent years, more top players have shown a willingness to suit up for the world championship following their long NHL seasons, which has resulted in a resurgence for the U.S. team at the event. The Americans have reached the podium in three of the past six worlds championships, including finishing third last year, marking the team’s most successful stretch at the tournament since the 1950s.
This year’s U.S. team is no exception. Eichel, a center for the Buffalo Sabres, is one of 11 first-round draft picks on the team. The Sabres selected him second overall in 2015, following one year at Boston University and a standout career with the U.S. National Team Development Program in Michigan.
The other first-round picks are Kane, Suter, van Riemsdyk, Cory Schneider, Dylan Larkin, Clayton Keller, Chris Kreider, Brady Skjei, Quinn Hughes and Colin White. Twelve players have experience with the U.S. NTDP, and all but one player has represented the U.S. internationally.
The other players on the roster are Thatcher Demko, Alex DeBrincat, Luke Glendening, Alec Martinez, Cayden Primeau and Frank Vatrano.
“We’re excited about our team and it’s fun to hear the passion our players have when I’ve talked to them about representing our country,” said Chris Drury, the team’s general manager, in a press release. “We have one objective and that is to come home with the gold medal.”
Team USA opens the world championship on May 10 against host Slovakia.