Joining Russia and Canada, USA Hockey is preparing for Olympic orientation camp by handing out the invitations to its camp in Washington, DC, in late August.
On Monday the United States announced the list of 48 players who will be headed to the camp with a chance to make the Olympic roster for February's games in Sochi, Russia. Canada invited 47 players to its camp while Russia named 35 to its list.
Here is the list of 48 Americans that will be cut down to 25 for the Olympics. From this group you should expect to see 14 forwards, eight defensemen and three goaltenders.
Defensemen: 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
Forwards: 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
The United States is stocking the camp full of players but it's probably pretty clear which of these guys won't be making the team for Russia. But I absolutely love what David Poile and the rest of the decision-makers are doing by inviting so many young faces to this camp.
A guy like John Gibson has earned the right to camp with this team with his spectacular performances in previous international stages. Same goes for guys such as Jones, Trouba, Bennett, Bjugstad, Saad, Palmieri and Galchenyuk. These guys are the future of USA Hockey so what better experience than to let them come to camp and let them know they can still earn a spot on the roster. I wouldn't bet on any of them making the official roster except for perhaps Galchenyuk, but to have the chance is excellent and a great recognition of the international success this group has had coming up.
As for the guys that are likely to be on the roster, well you have to love that goaltending. That is an excellent stable of netminders the USA will have to choose from and you'd feel comfortable going with any number of them.
The United States might not have the incredible scoring depth that Canada possesses but you can put together a couple of elite lines with that group. Guys like Kane and Kessel are some of the absolute best in the world. Then on defense the United States has a ton of puck-movers and point-producers.
Earlier this week, Chris Peters took a shot at predicting the USA roster and based on the list of invitees it's probably very close to how it will turn out. One name missing from this list that made Peters' projection is kind of surprising: Jason Pominville. He could still make the official roster but not making this list cuts the chances of that happening.
The United States will have a roster that's capable of winning gold in Sochi with a few other countries.