According to a USA Hockey press release, Bobby Ryan, Paul Stastny and Jack Johnson headline the Team USA squad that will participate in the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships taking place in Stockholm and Helsinki in May.
The initial 17-man roster, which will be added to prior to the tournament, consists of five defensemen, 11 forwards and one goaltender.
Bobby Ryan (Anaheim Ducks), Paul Stastny (Colorado Avalanche) and Jack Johnson (Columbus Blue Jackets) were all members of Team USA's 2010 Olympic team that took silver in Vancouver.
The Anaheim Ducks' Cam Fowler and Alex Goligoski of the Dallas Stars will also man the blue line for Team USA, along with Justin Faulk of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Max Pacioretty (Montreal Canadiens), who had a career year in 2011-12, will join the big three, along with Nathan Gerbe (Buffalo Sabres), Kyle Okposo (New York Islanders) and Nate Thompson (Tampa Bay Lightning).
The team will be coached by Scott Gordon, currently an assistant with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Gordon also coached Team USA at both the 2010 and 2011 world championships.
With an initial look at the 2012 roster, this appears to be the best team that Team USA has fielded at the world championships in some time. And there will be additions, as players not participating in the playoffs give their commitments, and other players knocked out of the playoffs are given invitations.
Team USA's Group Schedule shapes up like this:
|Fri., May 4||France||Helsinki||12:15 p.m. (5:15 a.m. ET)|
|Sat., May 5||Canada||Helsinki||7:00 p.m. (12:00 p.m. ET)|
|Mon., May 7||Slovakia||Helsinki||8:15 p.m. (1:15 p.m. ET)|
|Thurs., May 10||Belarus||Helsinki||4:15 p.m. (9:15 a.m. ET)|
|Fri., May 11||Kazakhstan||Helsinki||4:15 p.m. (9:15 a.m. ET)|
|Sun., May 13||Finland||Helsinki||4:15 p.m. (9:15 a.m. ET)|
|Tues., May 15||Switzerland||Helsinki||8:15 p.m. (1:15 p.m. ET)|
Ryan O'Leary is a writer and researcher for Bleacher Report's Video Production Department with seven years of experience in sports media.