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USHL Alumni Named to U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team

01/13/2022, 5:45pm CST

21 Alumni will Skate for the United States at the 2022 Olympics

USA Hockey announced Thursday its roster for the 2022 Olympic Men’s Hockey Team, which features 21 United States Hockey League (USHL) alumni. 

Among the US roster, 21 of the 25 players named played previously in the USHL. Of the 21 USHL alumni, 16 are already Drafted by NHL teams, including First Round prospects Matthew Beniers (Seattle Kraken, 2021, Round 1, #2), Jake Sanderson (Ottawa Senators, 2020, Round 1, #5) and Brendan Brisson (Vegas Golden Knights, 2020, Round 1, #29). Brisson and fellow former Chicago Steel forward Sean Farrell, along with former Cedar Rapids RoughRiders forward Marc McLaughlin, are the lone rostered skaters to have earned a USHL award in their tenure. Farrell is the defending USHL Player of the Year, Brisson earned the USHL Rookie of the Year award during the 2019-20 season and McLaughlin was named the Curt Hammer Award winner for the 2017-18 season. 

The USHL alumni account for a lot of star power including three Clark Cup Champions (Farrell, 2021; Ben Meyers and Strauss Mann, 2017-18), one Stanley Cup Champion (Steven Kampfer, 2010-11), and two Calder Cup Champions (Brian O’Neill and Nick Shore, 2014-15). The same year O’Neill and Shore lifted the Calder Cup with the Manchester Monarchs, O’Neill also won the AHL MVP award. 

In the USHL, three members of the Olympic squad made the All-USHL First Team including Farrell (2020-21), Brisson (2019-20) and Nick Abruzzese (2018-19). A pair earned Second Team honors including Meyers (2018-19) and Brian Cooper twice (2010-11 & 2011-12) as well as Nick Perbix and Mann earning Third Team honors during the 2017-18 season. Brisson (2019-20) and O’Neill (2007-08), as well as Matthew Knies (2019-20), earned USHL All-Rookie Team Honors while Cooper was also named the USHL Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the 2011-12 season. 

USA Hockey has previously awarded Farrell (2020-21) and Sanderson (2019-20) Junior Player of the Year honors and also named Andy Miele (2010-11) the USA Hockey College Player of the Year. 

Miele also earned the lone Hobey Baker Award (2010-11) of the group, one of 14 USHL alumni to win the award all-time, and was also the lone First Team All-American (2010-11) of the group. Noah Cates is the lone NCAA Champion (2018-19) of the group as well as the only NCAA West Second Team All-American (2019-20) while O’Neill (2011-12) and Drew Helleson (2020-21) earned NCAA East Second Team All-American honors previously. 

The group of USHL alumni has also won plenty of hardware on the international stage as the group consists of Gold Medal winners from the 2017-18 Under-17 World Hockey Championship (Farrell & Helleson), the 2009-10 Under-18 World Junior Championship (Shore) and five winners from the 2020-21 Under-20 World Junior Championship (Beniers, Brisson, Helleson, Sanderson and Brock Faber). Cates was part of the group that brought home the Silver Medal at the 2018-19 Under-20 World Junior Championship while Beniers, Farrell and Helleson brought home the Bronze medal at the Under-18 event the same year. Beniers and Drew Commesso also earned the Bronze at the 2020-21 World Championship. 

Forwards Sam Hentges (Minnesota Wild, 2018, Round 7, #210) and Nathan Smith (Winnipeg Jets, 2018, Round 3, #91) round out the USHL alumni set to represent the United States at the 2022 Winter Olympics. 

The U.S. Olympic Men’s team also features a quintet of former USHL General Managers, Coaches and support staff including John Vanbiesbrouck (General Manager), Mike Hastings (Assistant Coach), Brett Larson (Assistant Coach), Dave Lassonde (Goaltending Coach) and Jason Hodges (Athletic Trainer). Vanbiesbrouck currently serves as the USA Hockey Executive Director of Hockey Operations and formerly served as General Manager and Director of Hockey Operations for the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Hastings spent 15 seasons with the Omaha Lancers and was a three-time Clark Cup Champion, five-time General Manager of the Year, two-time Coach of the Year and is third all-time in USHL wins. Larson spent two seasons with the Sioux City Musketeers, Lassonde is in his second season as United States National Team Development Program (NTDP) Goaltending Coach and Hodges is in his 13th USHL season as Athletic Trainer for the NTDP. 

The United States will play in Group A during the Preliminary Round with games tentatively scheduled against China (February 10), Canada (February 12) and Germany (February 13). Playoff Rounds begin February 15 with the Bronze Medal Game scheduled for February 19 and Gold Medal Game scheduled for February 20. 

Earlier on Thursday, Czechia announced its Olympic Roster, which features Lukas Klok, a former Youngstown Phantoms (2013-14) defenseman and current skater for Neftekhimik of the KHL.

Name Position USHL Team (Season) Current Team (League) NHL Draft
Nick Abruzzese F Chicago Steel (2017-19) Harvard University (NCAA) Toronto Maple Leafs (2019, Round 4, #124)
Matthew Beniers F USA Hockey NTDP (2018-20) University of Michigan (NCAA) Seattle Kraken (2021, Round 1, #2)
Brendan Brisson F Chicago Steel (2019-20), Green Bay Gamblers (2018-19) University of Michigan (NCAA) Vegas Golden Knights (2020, Round 1, #29)
Noah Cates F Omaha Lancers (2015-18) University of Minnesota Duluth (NCAA) Philadelphia Flyers (2017, Round 5, #137)
Drew Commesso G USA Hockey NTDP (2018-20) Boston University (NCAA) Chicago Blackhawks (2020, Round 2, #46)
Brian Cooper D Fargo Force (2009-12) IK Oskarshamn (SHL) Anaheim Ducks (2012, Round 5, #127)
Brock Faber D USA Hockey NTDP (2018-20) University of Minnesota (NCAA) Los Angeles Kings (2020, Round 2, #45)
Sean Farrell F Chicago Steel (2019-21), USA Hockey NTDP (2017-19) Harvard University (NCAA) Montreal Canadiens (2020, Round 4, #124)
Drew Helleson D USA Hockey NTDP (2017-19) Boston College (NCAA) Colorado Avalanche (2019, Round 2, #47)
Sam Hentges F Tri-City Storm (2017-18), Des Moines Buccaneers (2017-18) St. Cloud State University (NCAA) Minnesota Wild (2018, Round 7, #210)
Steven Kampfer D Sioux City Musketeers (2004-06) Ak Bars Nazan (KHL) Anaheim Ducks (2007, Round 4, #93)
Matthew Knies F Tri-City Storm (2018-21) University of Minnesota (NCAA) Toronto Maple Leafs (2021, Round 2, #57)
Strauss Mann G Fargo Force (2017-18) Skelleftea AIK (SHL)
Marc McLaughlin F Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (2016-18) Boston College (NCAA)
Ben Meyers F Fargo Force (2016-19) University of Minnesota (NCAA)
Andy Miele F Chicago Steel (2006-08), Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (2005-07) Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod (KHL)
Brian O'Neill F Chicago Steel (2007-08) Jokerit (KHL)
Nick Perbix D Omaha Lancers (2017-18) St. Cloud State University (NCAA) Tampa Bay Lightning (2017, Round 6, #169)
Jake Sanderson D USA Hockey NTDP (2018-20) University of North Dakota (NCAA) Ottawa Senators (2020, Round 1, #5)
Nick Shore F USA Hockey NTDP (2009-10) Sibir Novosibirsk (KHL) Los Angeles Kings (2011, Round 3, #82)
Nathan Smith F Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (2017-19) Minnesota State University (NCAA) Winnipeg Jets (2018, Round 3, #91)

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