Yesterday, July 22nd, USA Hockey announced the players that have been invited to Orientation Camp, which will take place on August 26th and 27th in Arlington, VA. Jack Johnson, the only player from the Columbus Blue Jackets on the roster, will have the honor of partaking in the Orientation Camp.
Johnson participated in the 2010 Winter Olympics for team USA, and is on the verge of making the roster for 2014 in Sochi, Russia. In 2010 the defensive core of team USA consisted of; Ryan Whitney, Ryan Suter, Brian Rafalski, Brooks Orpik, Erik Johnson, and Tim Gleason. The potential 2014 team for USA has seem to gone a slightly different route and has invited some young talented players to Orientation Camp. I would go as far to say that Johnson would be one of only a few veteran players invited, other veteran players include; Erik Johnson, Brooks Orpik, Dustin Byfuglien, Paul Martin, Ryan Suter, and Keith Yandle. I am not even 100% sure I would call some of the players listed as veterans, but compared to the rest of the defensive players invited to camp, the players listed are as experienced as your going to get.
The rest of the list consists of young guys who are just making a name for themselves in the NHL; Kevin Shattenkirk, Nick Leddy, Jake Gardiner, Justin Faulk, Ryan McDonagh, John Carlson, Cam Fowler, and Zach Bogosian (Carlson and Bogosian could have been added to the veterans list…maybe).
Now to the young guns who have been invited to the Orientation Camp, these are the guys that you need to look out for, because in the blink of an eye one of these players could surprise everyone and be headed to Russia in February 2014. This list includes; Danny DeKeyser, Seth Jones, and Jacob Trouba.
That makes 18 defenseman to battle it out for 7, maybe 8 roster spots. Assuming that both Suter and Johnson make the roster, they would be good bets for a defenseman becoming captain. I saw a couple tweets this morning that confirm that Johnson could potentially be in the running for captain of the USA team…
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) July 23, 2013
Jack Johnson has played in 69 games in IIHF events. Most of anyone on the team. That’s a pretty impressive number.
— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) July 23, 2013
Don’t forget about the forwards though, names like; Zach Parise, Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan, David Backes, maybe even Patrick Kane. There is a laundry list of players that could potentially be named captain for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
The last captain of the USA Hockey team was Jamie Langenbrunner in 2010 for the Winter Games in Vancouver. The USA lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Canadians. Will 2014 bring better luck for the Americans? Better question right now is…Who is going to lead them?