Report: Team USA Hockey Invites 15 Players to Play in Winter Olympics originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
USA Hockey has invited 15 players to join the U.S. men’s ice hockey team participating at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, according to reports by Daily Faceoff’s Chris Peters and Frank Seravalli.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) January 6, 2022
So far, no player has confirmed that they are going to Beijing and USA Hockey is still in the process of adding to the list.
The United States can select up to 22 skaters and three goaltenders for their Olympic team, which begins competition Wednesday, Feb. 9.
Among the 15 invites are eight current college hockey players, six Americans playing overseas and one minor leaguer.
Of the eight NCAA athletes, four of them were on the 2022 U.S. World Juniors roster — Matty Beniers, Brock Faber, Matthew Knies and Jake Sanderson. Beniers and Faber served as assistant captains, along with Notre Dame’s Landon Slaggert, while Sanderson was the captain. The 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship was cancelled midway through the tournament due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19.
Drew Helleson was a member of the 2021 U.S. World Juniors team while Noah Cates was a member of the 2019 team. Neither Nathan Smith or Ben Meyers have previously represented the U.S. on the international stage.
Out of the six players currently overseas, five of them have previous NHL experience — Kenny Agostino, Steven Kampfer, Andy Miele, Brian O’Neill and David Warsofsky. Agostino and Kampfer were both in the NHL last season, with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins, respectively.
The quartet of Agostino, O’Neill, Miele and Kampfer lead all American skaters in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in points this season, in that order. Warsofsky plays in Germany’s Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL).
Strauss Mann, the lone player overseas without NHL experience, was a standout goalie at Michigan University who graduated in the spring of 2021 and signed with the Swedish Hockey League.
Aaron Ness, the only invitee currently in the American Hockey League (AHL), is playing with the Providence Bruins, the minor league affiliate of the Boston Bruins.