Men's Ice Hockey Preview
The 25-player U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team is filled with talent, experience and unique storylines that are sure to fascinate those watching in the U.S. and around the world as the 2018 collection of athletes chosen to represent the United States seek the country’s first gold medal in men’s ice hockey since 1980.

While Brian Gionta (Rochester, N.Y./Boston College), who will serve as team captain, is the only returning Olympian on the roster (2006), 23 other players have donned the U.S. sweater in international competition and captured 14 medals.

Team USA’s forward lineup is highlighted by three of the top point getters in the National League in Switzerland, including Marc Arcobello (SC Bern), who as of Jan. 1 led the league with 39 points (13-26) in 33 games played. Broc Little (HC Davos) and Garrett Roe (EV Zug) were tied for third with 31 points each. The U.S. offense will also feature the talents of Chris Bourque who as of Jan. 1 led the AHL with 39 points (11-28) in 34 games played for the Hershey Bears, and Harvard University’s Ryan Donato, who was fourth in NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey in points per game (1.45) as of Jan. 1.

Matt Gilroy, who played 225 games in the NHL and won the 2009 Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the top player in NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey, will anchor the blueline. As of Jan. 1, he was tied for sixth in points among defenseman in the Kontinental Hockey League with 25 (6-19) in 44 games with Jokerit. The U.S. will also rely on the talents of Ryan Gunderson (Brynas IF), who led all Swedish Hockey League defensemen on Jan. 1 with 25 points (4-21) in 31 games played, and James Wisniewski, who on Jan. 1 topped all blueliners in the DEL2 with 36 points playing for Kassel. Wisniewski, who has 552 regular-season NHL games on his resume, helped the U.S. win its first-ever gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2004.

In goal, Team USA will rely on the talents of Ryan Zapolski, who is one of three players from Jokerit named to Team USA. Zapolski was fifth in the KHL on Jan. 1 with a 1.68 goals against average and owned a 21-8-3 record and .935 save percentage. David Leggio and Brandon Maxwell complete Team USA’s goaltending trio.

The U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team will have daily practices in South Korea Feb. 9-13 before opening play on Feb. 14 when it faces Slovenia in its first preliminary round game.

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. This stretch of success has not been matched since the 1960 U.S. team won gold to cap four straight Olympics with a medal.

Storylines

  • Tragedy hit Team USA on Jan. 21, 2018, with the unexpected passing of general manager Jim Johannson, who died in his sleep in the early morning hours at his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A two-time Olympian as a player (1988, 1992), Johannson has been involved in the last five Games for the U.S. men’s team in a management capacity, starting in 2002. Johannson had worked full-time for USA Hockey since 2000 until the time of his passing. USA Hockey is not naming a replacement GM for the Olympics. Ben Smith, who is the team’s director of player personnel, will handle personnel issues together with the coaching staff, while Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey, will assist in leading team logistics.

  • Team USA will gather as a group for the first time on Feb. 8 in South Korea with its first practice set for Feb. 9. 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.

  • 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 is made up of players on U.S. college rosters; those with AHL only contracts and also Americans playing hockey professionally in Europe.

  • USA Hockey announced on August 4, 2017, that former University of Wisconsin teammates Jim Johannson and Tony Granato were being reunited to help 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, who passed away unexpectedly on Jan. 21, 2018, was USA Hockey’s assistant executive director of hockey operations while Granato serves as head men’s ice hockey coach at the University of Wisconsin.

  • While 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. This stretch of success has not been matched since the 1960 U.S. team’s gold-medal performance capped four straight Olympics with a medal.

Athletes To Watch

Jordan Greenway
(Canton, New Jersey) is a junior forward at Boston University and helped the U.S. earn gold medals at both the 2017 IIHF 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. Jordan Greenway will be the first African American player to ever compete on a U.S. men’s or women’s Olympic ice hockey team.

Troy 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 IIHF World Junior Championship. He scored three straight shootout goals, including the decisive tally, to help the U.S. beat Russia in the semifinals and 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 were continually evaluated throughout the season. The U.S. competed in the Deutschland Cup in Augsburg, Germany, Nov. 10-12. This tournament was used as part of the overall evaluation process of candidates for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team.

Editor’s Note: This selection process overview is designed to provide general information only. The selection process is formally governed by selection procedures published by each National Governing Body.


Key Dates

Nov. 10-12

Deutschland Cup

Augsburg, Germany

Jan. 1 (TBD)

Olympic roster announcement

TBD