The NHL's refusal to release its players to play in the Olympics has left each of the men's teams in the same boat.
Denver's Troy Terry, Boston University's Jordan Greenway, St. Cloud State's Will Borgen and Harvard's Ryan Donato are the NCAA players who should give the USA a shot of youth.
In Pyeongchang, the USA women will be trying to win Olympic gold for the first time in 20 years.
Zapolski, 31, is now a goalie for Jokerit (Helsinki, Finland) of the Kontinental Hockey League, which is an worldwide professional ice hockey league. "I've been fortunate to represent USA Hockey at other events".
On Dec. 22, Canada named five former Badgers women's hockey players to its Olympic team: forwards Emily Clark, Sarah Nurse and Blayre Turnbull; defenseman Meaghan Mikkelson; and goaltender Ann-Renee Desbiens. Granato said after the pre-Olympic Deutschland Cup in November that Zapolski had the tools to be the Americans' starting goalie even though it was too early to name him as such. "(We have) some younger, college guys, which I'm sure will bring a lot of skill and energy, then proven AHL players that can produce, as well.
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It's good to see these youngsters head into their offseasons on a good note. "It's about how they play together", he said. McCarthy and the Packers coaching staff obviously saw something on field they thought they could exploit and did.
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Canada is expected to announce its roster on January 11. As a result, national teams have needed to turn elsewhere, including colleges and European leagues, to fill out their rosters.
"We have a decent amount of players that are already used to playing in Europe on the big ice, which can be helpful", said defenseman Ryan Gunderson, who's now playing in Sweden. "Gio, of course, has experienced the Olympics before and will lead the way".
Team USA began pre-Olympic play on October 22, going 5-1 out of the gate before losing four straight games -two decided in overtime - to perennial rival Canada, the four-time defending Olympic champion. The Americans were the gold medalists at the first Olympic women's hockey tournament in 1998 and have three silvers and one bronze since then, as Canada has won the past four golds. Ryan Donato, a Buffalo Sabres prospect, is the son of 1992 Olympian Ted Donato.
The most important thing that I wanted to hear from Blum was - Why should fans care?
The Winter Olympics are due to be held from February 9-25 in Pyeongchang.