USA Hockey announced today the first 17 players that will compete for the 2012 U.S. Men's National Team at the International Ice Hockey Federation Men's World Championship, May 4-20, in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden.
The group includes one goaltender, five defensemen and 11 forwards.
Highlighting the roster are six players with U.S. Olympic or U.S. Men's National Team credentials. Forwards Paul Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./Colorado Avalanche/Univ. of Denver) and Bobby Ryan (Cherry Hill, N.J./Anaheim Ducks) and defenseman Jack Johnson (Ann Arbor, Mich./Columbus Blue Jackets/Univ. of Michigan) each collected silver medals at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C. Stastny also played on the 2007 U.S. Men's National Team. Ryan skated on the 2006 U.S. National Junior Team. Johnson has extensive Team USA experience, playing for four U.S. Men's National Teams (2007, '09-11), two U.S. National Junior Teams (2006, '07-bronze medal) and a pair of U.S. Men's National Under-18 Teams (2004-silver medal, '05-gold medal).
Defenseman Cam Fowler (Farmington Hills, Mich./Anaheim Ducks) joins Johnson as a returnee from the 2011 U.S. Men's National Team that played in Slovakia. Fowler has helped Team USA win gold medals at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2009 IIHF World Under-18 Men's Championship. Forward Kyle Okposo (St. Paul, Minn./New York Islanders/Univ. of Minnesota) is a two-time veteran of the U.S. Men's National Team, skating in 2009 and 2010. Okposo also played on the 2007 and 2008 U.S. National Junior Teams, winning a bronze medal in 2007. Forward Jim Slater (Lapeer, Mich./Winnipeg Jets/Michigan State Univ.) was a member of the 2006 U.S. Men's National Team and the 2002 U.S. National Junior Team.
Four more players have participated in IIHF World Championships, including forward Nathan Gerbe (Oxford, Mich./Buffalo Sabres/Boston College), who played for two U.S. National Junior Teams (2006, '07-bronze medal) and two U.S. Men's National Under-18 Teams (2004-silver medal, '05-gold medal). Defenseman Justin Faulk (South St. Paul, Minn./Carolina Hurricanes/Univ. of Minnesota Duluth) won a gold medal with the 2010 U.S. Men's National Under-18 Team and a bronze medal with the 2011 U.S. National Junior Team. Forward Max Pacioretty (New Canaan, Conn./Montreal Canadiens/Univ. of Michigan) was a member of the 2008 U.S. National Junior Team, while defenseman Alex Goligoski (Grand Rapids, Minn./Dallas Stars/Univ. of Minnesota) was a member of the 2005 U.S. National Junior Team.
Additionally, seven players will be making their Team USA debuts with the 2012 U.S. Men's National Team, including goaltender Richard Bachman (Salt Lake City, Utah/Dallas Stars/Colorado College), defenseman Jeff Petry (Ann Arbor, Mich./Edmonton Oilers/Michigan State Univ.) and forwards Cam Atkinson (Riverside, Conn./Columbus Blue Jackets/Boston College), J.T. Brown (Burnsville, Minn./Tampa Bay Lightning/Univ. of Minnesota Duluth), Patrick Dwyer (Spokane, Wash./Carolina Hurricanes/Western Michigan Univ.) and Nate Thompson (Anchorage, Alaska/Tampa Bay Lightning). Forward Ryan Lasch (Lake Forest, Calif./Lahti Pelicans/St. Cloud State Univ.) played for Team USA's entry in the 2011 Deutschland Cup in Germany.