U.S. Selects 4 From NCAA For Olympics
CHN Staff Report
Team USA will have four current NCAA players on its roster for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games coming up next month in PyeongChang, South Korea.
There is little surprise of the four who were selected: Boston University forward Jordan Greenway, Harvard forward Ryan Donato, Denver forward Troy Terry, and St. Cloud State defenseman Will Borgen. All were members of last year's World Junior Championship team that won the gold medal, and all three are too old to be eligible for this year's World Juniors.
There had been talk that as many as six current NCAA players would be selected. But Team USA, which is to be coached by Wisconsin's Tony Granato, settled on four. Harvard defenseman Adam Fox, Minnesota forward Casey Mittelstadt, and Boston College goaltender Joe Woll — all of whom are currently playing in the World Junior tournament — were considered prime candidates for inclusion on the Olympic roster, but were not selected.
Because the NHL decided a few months ago not to allow its players to participate in the Olympics this time, something it had done since 1998, the teams were forced to scramble to put together a roster. For the U.S., most of the players are currently competing in European professional leagues. And most of the ones who made the cut have ties ties to college hockey.
The most recognizable name is former Boston College forward Brian Gionta, who enjoyed a lengthy NHL career before heading overseas. Gionta, who is the only former Olympian (2006) on this year's roster, had a 48-goal season in the NHL one year, and was part of BC's 2001 national championship team. Chris Bourque, son of Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, who played one season with BU, made the team. He is currently playing in the AHL but is eligible because he's on a one-way contract. Another AHL player is former BU forward John McCarthy, who is the only player on the roster never to have represented the U.S. in international competition.
Other former NCAA players selected include German league star Chad Kolarik (Michigan), former ECAC Rookie of the Year Brian O'Neill (Yale), current Swiss League leading scorer [[Marc Arcobello]] (Yale), Broc Little (Yale), Garrett Roe (St. Cloud), former long-time NHLer Jim Slaton (Michigan State), Bobby Butler (New Hampshire), and Ryan Stoa (Minnesota).
Former Hobey Baker Award winner Matt Gilroy (BU) was selected as part of the defense, along with Noah Welch (Harvard), Chad Billins (Ferris State), and Ryan Gunderson (Vermont).
Former Mercyhurst goaltender [[Ryan Zaploski]], who plays for Jokerit (Finland) in the KHL, was named to the team. The U.S. will select two more goaltenders, bringing the roster to 25, before the tournament starts.
Granato's assistants are long-time NHL defenseman, and Wisconsin alum, Chris Chelios; current Yale coach Keith Allain; former BU forward and Olympian Scott Young; and Ron Rolston, a Lake Superior State alum with long-time ties to USA Hockey.
Another former Hobey Award winner, Minnesota's Robb Stauber, is head coach of the U.S. women's Olympic team.