Mar. 30, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; An American flag is projected onto the ice during the signing of the national anthem prior to the game between the Florida Panthers and Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Predicting The 2014 USA Olympic Hockey Team: Who Makes The Cut?


With the 2014 Winter Olympics only one year away it’s already prediction time.  The defending Olympic silver medalists from Vancouver will boast another impressive squad next year in Russia. Here are my projections for who will make the final cut for Team USA:

Forwards

The forward group showcases a plethora of speed, size, and skill.  Team USA’s size and strength up front will cause plenty of headaches for opposing defenders. Their depth at forward is no doubt the strength of this club.

Zach Parise

Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

David Backes

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

 

Patrick Kane

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Pominville

Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Pavelski

. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Kessel

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Max Pacioretty

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Kesler

Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Bobby Ryan

Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

 

James van Riemsdyk

Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

T.J. Oshie

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Brown

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Forwards On The Bubble

Paul Stastny

Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Dubinsky

Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Defense 

USA’s blueline will be as competitive as any in the tournament.  Like their forwards, these are physically imposing d-men who can skate. Moving the puck quickly and efficiently to their forwards will pose no problems for this backend.

Ryan Suter

Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Byfuglien

Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Keith Yandle

Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Shattenkirk

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan McDonagh

Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Jack Johnson

Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Defensemen On The Bubble

Justin Faulk

Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Brooks Orpik

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Goalies

The biggest question surrounding the United States will be their goaltending.  Can Jonathan Quick regain his Stanley Cup form from last season?  Will Ryan Miller be able to find his game that made him the best goalie in the 2010 Olympic tournament?  Team USA’s goaltending could be the difference between being on or off the podium come Sochi 2014.

Jonathan Quick

Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Howard

Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Miller

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Tags: Featured Off Topic Team USA