Men's Ice Hockey Preview
As the countdown to the men’s ice hockey competition for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games continues, excitement is building as U.S. general manager Jim Johannson, director of player personnel Ben Smith, and a coaching staff led by Tony Granato, are entrenched in evaluating players and building a roster all fully expect to compete for a medal in Pyeonchang.

While NHL players, who have exclusively made up the U.S. roster since the 1998 Games, will not be utilized in 2018, that hasn’t dampened the optimism of the U.S. management and coaching staff.

“The depth of our talent pool in the U.S. is as great as it has even been,” said Johannson, “and we’ll have an excellent team representing our country.”

Team USA’s roster will be comprised of players currently on college rosters, those with AHL only contracts and Americans playing professionally in Europe.

The U.S., along with host Germany, Russia and Slovakia, will participate in the Deutschland Cup from Nov. 10-12 in Augsburg, Germany, and that tournament will be utilized by Johannson and company to evaluate some 30 players that are candidates for the Olympic roster. The U.S. Olympic coaching staff, which includes Keith Allain, Chris Chelios, Scott Young and Ron Rolston along with head coach Tony Granato, will guide the U.S. entry in the Deutschland Cup.

“We’ll utilize the Deutschland Cup as part of our overall Olympic evaluation,” said Johannson. “The roster for that tournament will utilize our European pros and it will be a good chance for players and staff to get to know each other and for us to get a better sense of how our final Olympic roster will come together.”

USA Hockey expects to announce the 25 players that will make-up the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team by Jan. 1. Team USA will gather for its first practice in South Korea approximately a week before competition begins.

The U.S. has finished in the top four in three of the last four Olympic Winter Games, highlighted by a pair of silver medals in 2002 and 2010. It marks a stretch of success that hasn’t been matched since the 1960 U.S. team’s gold-medal performance capped four straight Olympics with a medal.

Storylines

  • For the first time since the 1994 Olympic Winter Games, the rosters of teams competing in men’s ice hockey will not be populated by NHL players. For Team USA, its final Olympic roster in 2018 will be made up of players on U.S. college rosters; those with AHL only contracts and also Americans playing hockey professionally in Europe.

  • Team USA will gather as a group for the very first time on Feb. 10 in South Korea. At no time prior will the final U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team be together in preparation for the Games. It should be noted that this way forward is nothing different than what has been done since the 1998 Olympic Winter Games.

  • Former University of Wisconsin teammates Jim Johannson and Tony Granato are reunited in helping guide Team USA’s Olympic fortunes in 2018 – Johannson as general manager and Granato as head coach. The two played together at UW for three seasons in the mid-1980s (1983-86) and were also both players on the 1988 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team. Johannson is currently USA Hockey’s assistant executive director of hockey operations while Granato serves as head men’s ice hockey coach at the University of Wisconsin.

  • Russia will undoubtedly be the favorite headed into the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, Team USA will be looking for its first gold medal in men’s ice hockey since 1980. The U.S. has finished in the top four in three of the last four Olympic Winter Games, highlighted by a pair of silver medals in 2002 and 2010. It marks a stretch of success that hasn’t been matched since the 1960 U.S. team’s gold-medal performance capped four straight Olympics with a medal.

Athletes To Watch

Jordan Greenway
Greenway (Canton, New York) is a junior forward at Boston University and helped the U.S. earn gold medals at both the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Hockey Championship and the 2015 IIHF U18 Men’s World Hockey Championship. He played two seasons (2013-15) with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program and is a 2015 NHL Draft choice of the Minnesota Wild. Greenway’s brother JD, who was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016, currently plays hockey at the University of Wisconsin.

Troy Terry
Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colorado) is a junior forward for the University of Denver Pioneers, where last April he helped the school capture the NCAA Division I national championship. Just three months prior to that, Terry became the story of the hockey world with his shootout dramatics in helping the U.S. win gold in the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship. He scored three straight shootout goals, including the decisive tally, to help the U.S. beat Russia in the semifinals and the next night against Canada in the gold medal game in Montreal, scored the lone goal in the shootout to propel the U.S. to victory. Terry also was part of the U.S. gold medal-winning team at the 2015 IHIF U18 Men’s World Hockey Championship. Drafted by the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks in 2015, Terry skated one season with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (2014-15).  

Qualification

Click here to view the complete 2018 Olympic qualification procedures for ice hockey.

Selection

Players are continually evaluated throughout the season. The U.S. will participate in the Deutschland Cup in Augsburg, Germany, Nov. 10-12. This tournament will be used as part of the overall evaluation process of candidates for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team. The final roster for the Deutschland Cup is expected to include approximately 30 Americans who play professional hockey in Europe.

Editor’s Note: This selection process overview is designed to provide general information only and should not be relied upon by athletes attempting to make the U.S. Olympic Team. The selection process is formally governed by selection procedures published by each National Governing Body. Athletes and other individuals interested in the selection process should contact the appropriate NGB to obtain the full selection procedures, or to seek clarification of the process.

Key Dates

Nov. 10-12

Deutschland Cup

Augsburg, Germany

Jan. 1 (TBD)

Olympic roster announcement

TBD