While no NHL players will be competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics, some of the league's biggest prospects will take center stage for USA Hockey when the Games kick off next month in Beijing.
The NHL announced in December that players would not be allowed to compete in the Olympics amid a rise in COVID-19 cases around the league and a pause that impacted the 2021-22 season schedule.
While it's disappointing that NHL players won't be participating in this year's Olympics, here is the list of players that will be representing the United States under head coach David Quinn and general manager John Vanbiesbrouck on foreign soil:
- Nick Abruzzese: Harvard, NCAA (Toronto Maple Leafs)
- Ken Agostino: Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, KHL
- Matty Beniers: Michigan, NCAA (Seattle Kraken)
- Brendan Brisson: Michigan, NCAA (Vegas Golden Knights)
- Noah Cates: Minnesota-Duluth, NCAA (Philadelphia Flyers)
- Sean Farrell: Harvard, NCAA (Montreal Canadiens)
- Sam Hentges: St. Cloud State, NCAA (Minnesota Wild)
- Matthew Knies: Minnesota, NCAA (Toronto Maple Leafs)
- Marc McLaughlin: Boston College, NCAA (Undrafted UFA)
- Ben Meyers: Minnesota, NCAA (Undrafted UFA)
- Andy Miele: Nizhny Novgorod, KHL
- Brian O'Neill: Helsingin Jokerit, KHL
- Nick Shore: HC Sibir Novosibirsk, KHL
- Nathan Smith: Minnesota State, NCAA (Winnipeg Jets)
- Brian Cooper: IK Oskarshamn, SHL
- Brock Faber: Minnesota, NCAA (Los Angeles Kings)
- Drew Helleson: Boston College, NCAA (Colorado Avalanche)
- Steven Kampfer: Ak Bars Kazan, KHL
- Aaron Ness: Providence Bruins, AHL
- Nick Perbix: St. Cloud State, NCAA (Tampa Bay Lightning)
- Jake Sanderson, North Dakota, NCAA (Ottawa Senators)
- David Warsofsky: ERC Ingolstadt, DEL
- Drew Commesso: Boston University, NCAA (Chicago Blackhawks)
- Strauss Mann: Skelleftea AIK, SHL
- Pat Nagle: Lehigh Valley Phantoms, AHL
Team USA is highlighted by many college athletes, including Beniers, Sanderson, Faber and Commesso. Beniers is arguably the best player on the roster.
The Massachusetts native was drafted second overall by the Seattle Kraken in 2021 after an impressive freshman season at Michigan coupled with highlight performances on the USNTDP Juniors team.
Beniers, a forward, tallied 10 goals and 14 assists in 24 games during his freshman season with the Wolverines in 2020-21. In 22 games this season, the 19-year-old has 12 goals and 14 assists.
In addition to being named to the Olympic roster, Beniers has also represented the United States on several occasions, including the World Junior Championship and the U17 and U18 teams.
Like Beniers, Sanderson, a defenseman, figures to be one of the most impactful players on the U.S. roster. He was drafted fifth overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2020 and has spent the last two seasons at the University of North Dakota.
Sanderson notched two goals and 13 assists in 22 games as a freshman and has six goals and 16 assists in 17 games for The Fighting Hawks this season.
The 19-year-old has also represented the U.S. many times on the U17, U18 and U20 teams.
Faber is another impressive defenseman out of the University of Minnesota. He was selected in the second round of the 2020 draft by the Los Angeles Kings and is in his second season with the Golden Gophers.
Faber has two goals and nine assists in 20 games this season. He has also represented the United States on the U17, U18 and U20 teams.
Meanwhile, Commesso figures to be the Americans' top goaltender. The Boston University product, who was a second-round pick by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2020, has appeared in 19 games for the Terriers this season, posting a 2.67 goals-against average and .907 save percentage.
This U.S. roster also features several players who have spent time in the NHL, including Agostino, Warsofsky, Shore and Kampfer.