By Allan Muir
Looks like they might need to hire a few babysitters to work the American Olympic orientation camp.
The list of 48 players was released today and, as expected, it highlighted the depth of talent that’s making its way to the top levels after years of dominating international youth tournaments.
While 16 of the players headed to the camp, scheduled from Aug. 26-27 in Arlington, VA., have Olympic experience, there’s bound to be significant roster turnover from the team that lost an overtime heartbreaker and had to settle for silver in Vancouver.
Among the first timers competing for jobs are Seth Jones, the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft, along with John Gibson, Alex Galchenyuk and Jacob Trouba. All four players won gold while representing the U.S. at the 2013 World Junior Championship.
While the members of the Kiddie Korps will be hard pressed to knock off the vets, they’ll benefit from the experience and should be better prepared when 2018 rolls around … if the NHL sends players to South Korea.
The fiercest battle is in net, where the Americans might boast the world’s deepest pool of talent. The blueline looks bigger and more mobile than in 2010, and the forwards are fast and creative, although the absence of a legitimate No. 1 or 2 center is a little disconcerting.
The large roster ensured that there weren’t any significant snubs, although Jason Pominville, Brandon Dubinsky and Alex Goligoski might wonder if their invites were lost in the mail.
And Tim Thomas? Well, he might still play himself into a roster spot … if he can find someplace to play, that is. For now though, his sabbatical cost him consideration. Tough to call that a snub, though, when it’s a direct result of his own decision not to play.
Here’s a look at the 48 who are going camping:
Craig Anderson, John Gibson, Jimmy Howard, Ryan Miller, Jonathan Quick, Cory Schneider
Zach Bogosian, Dustin Byfuglien, John Carlson, Dan DeKeyser, Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler, Jake Gardiner, Erik Johnson, Jack Johnson, Seth Jones, Nick Leddy, Paul Martin, Ryan McDonagh, Brooks Orpik, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Suter, Jacob Trouba, Keith Yandle
Justin Abdelkader, David Backes, Beau Bennett, Nick Bjugstad, Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan, Alex Galchenyuk, Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, Trevor Lewis, Kyle Okposo, T.J. Oshie, Max Pacioretty, Kyle Palmieri, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Bobby Ryan, Brandon Saad, Craig Smith, Paul Stastny, Derek Stepan, James van Riemsdyk, Blake Wheeler