2018 olympic hockey roster

Table of Contents

Here Are the Hockey Players Competing for Team USA at the 2018 Winter Olympics

With no participation from the National Hockey League and a women’s team vying for gold, Team USA announced its rosters for its ice hockey teams competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The highly anticipated rosters were announced January 1 at an intermission during the 2018 Winter Classic and come ahead of the first Winter Olympics the NHL has not participated in since 1994. That means the men’s ice hockey team competing in PyeongChang, South Korea is a combination of former NHL players, minor league players and college athletes.

“Obviously from a selection process it’s been a battle for us on all the players we have available to us,” said Tony Granato, the men’s team coach said Monday.

He continued, “I think we’ve put together an outstanding group of players that will represent us well come February and give us a great chance to do really well and compete for a medal.”

The men’s team captain is Brian Gionta, who played for the Buffalo Sabres in the NHL until 2017, when he moved to an American Hockey League club and could therefore play for Team USA. Gionta was the U.S.’s top scorer in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, where the U.S. lost in the quarterfinals.

On the women’s side, many of Team USA’s key players like Brianna Decker and Meghan Duggan will return with the goal of earning women’s ice hockey first gold medal in 20 years. While Team USA has medaled every year since women’s ice hockey was added as an Olympic sport in 1998, the U.S. has fallen repeatedly to Canada in the battle for gold.

In 2014, Team USA lost to Canada in the final round 3-2, earning silver.

“We had to figure out what we were made of, what we wanted to accomplish over these last couple of years, and really put ourselves in a position to achieve the goal we want to achieve as a program and as a team and as a country going into this next Olympics,” Duggan said Monday.

“We’re excited,” she added. “We’ve got the right group.”

Team USA men’s hockey roster

Bernhard Ebner of Germany and Brian Gionta of USA battle for the ball during the Deutschland Cup 2017 match between Germany and USA at Curt-Frenzel-Stadion on November 12, 2017 in Augsburg, Germany. TF-Images—Getty Images

Forwards:

  • Mark Arcobello
  • Chris Bourque
  • Bobby Butler
  • Ryan Donato
  • Brian Gionta
  • Jordan Greenway
  • Chad Kolarik
  • Broc Little
  • John McCarthy
  • Brian O’Neill
  • Garrett Roe
  • Jim Slater
  • Ryan Stoa
  • Troy Terry

Defense:

  • Chad Billins
  • Jonathon Blum
  • Will Borgen
  • Matt Gilroy
  • Ryan Gunderson
  • Bobby Sanguinetti
  • Noah Welch
  • James Wisniewski

Goalies:

  • Ryan Zapolski
  • Brandon Maxwell
  • David Leggio

Team USA women’s ice hockey roster

Brianna Decker #14 of the United States handles the puck against Canada during the Ice Hockey Women’s Gold Medal Game on day 13 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 20, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Harry How—Getty Images

Forwards:

  • Hannah Brandt
  • Dani Cameranesi
  • Kendall Coyne
  • Brianna Decker
  • Meghan Duggan
  • Amanda Kessel
  • Hilary Knight
  • Jocelyne Lamoureux
  • Monique Lamoureux
  • Gigi Marvin
  • Kelly Pannek
  • Amanda Pelkey
  • Haley Skarupa

Defense:

  • Cayla Barnes
  • Kacey Bellamy
  • Kali Flanagan
  • Megan Keller
  • Sidney Morin
  • Emily Pfalzer
  • Lee Stecklein

Goalies:

  • Nicole Hensley
  • Alex Rigsby
  • Maddie Rooney

Most Popular on TIME

Contact us at [email protected]

Related

Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Hockey is always one of the highlights at the Winter Olympics, and the group that Team USA will put on the ice at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games will be a fascinating group, to say the least.

Below, we’ll take a look at the roster, schedule, uniforms and preview of the team as the American men seek gold for the first time since the famed 1980s “Miracle on Ice” squad won the tournament.

Roster

USA Hockey @usahockey

In January, goalkeepers Brandon Maxwell and David Leggio were also added to the men’s roster.

Schedule

Slovenia: Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 7:10 a.m. ET

Slovakia: Friday, Feb. 16 at 10:10 a.m. ET

Olympic Athletes from Russia: Saturday, Feb. 17 at 7:10 a.m. ET

Additionally, the men’s qualification playoffs will take place on Feb. 19-20, the quarterfinals on Feb. 20-21, the semifinals on Feb. 23, the bronze-medal game on Feb. 24 and the gold medal game on Feb. 25.

Uniforms

Stephen Whyno @SWhyno

U.S. Olympic hockey jerseys: https://t.co/sjMXE7zcPe

You can find more photos here.

Preview

For the first time since 1998, there will be no NHL players competing in the Olympic hockey tournament. That means the United States roster will include a number of players that may be unfamiliar to many fans ready to support the team.

The biggest name is NHL veteran and 38-year-old team captain Brian Gionta, who is no longer in the NHL. He is one of several former NHL players on the team. Among those players, Mark Arcobello, Jim Slater, James Wisniewski and Matt Gilroy possess the most NHL experience.

Additionally, Chad Billins, Chris Bourque, Bobby Sanguinetti, Bobby Butler, Chad Kolarik, John McCarthy, Brian O’Neill, Jonathon Blum, Ryan Stoa and Noah Welch also appeared in the NHL.

In total, seven different leagues or levels of competition from around the world will be represented on Team USA, from Russia’s KHL to the AHL and NCAA. Indeed, college players like Troy Terry, Jordan Greenway, Ryan Donato and Will Borgen will be expected to make major contributions for the side.

In those players, NHL fans will get the chance to take a longer look at a few players who could have long NHL careers in their future. And Greenway is making history as the first African-American to represent the United States in hockey.

He’s not the only great story on the team. Bourque is the son of NHL legend Ray Bourque, but unlike his father, he never made a splash in the NHL, instead plying his trade in the AHL. A chance at Olympic gold would leave Bourque with a legacy all his own, however.

And if nothing else, the change away from the NHL players has resulted in some heartwarming moments for the players selected, such as this exchange between Bobby Butler and his father:

ABC News @ABC

Making the Team: Heartwarming video shows hockey player Bobby Butler telling his dad that he made the U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team for the 2018 Winter Olympics. https://t.co/cUsOKH7zzu https://t.co/EGcAq1MB0T

After finishing 0-3 at October’s Deutschland Cup, the United States won’t be one of the favorites for this tournament.

Canada is probably still the favorite, with the Olympic Athletes from Russia—Russia has been banned from the Games, but its athletes can still compete under the OAR banner—also a heavy favorite, considering former NHL stars like Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk are expected to headline the team. Sweden is also a top contender.

So it’s an uphill climb for the Americans. But they’ll take their chances.

“We really like our roster,” general manager Jim Johannson said in December, per the Associated Press. “It’s a group that brings versatility and experience and includes players who have a lot of passion about representing our country.”

ABOUT COOKIES

Jan 2, 2018

  • ESPN

The NHL has prohibited its players from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympic men’s hockey tournament — meaning that the league will not send anyone to the Winter Games for the first time since 1998. What could have been if the top pros had been allowed to compete? Senior writer Greg Wyshynski and national NHL reporter Emily Kaplan came up with their ideal rosters and predicted finish for each of the teams that would have contended for medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics … if the world’s best players were present.

United States

Just missed: John Carlson, Justin Faulk, John Gibson, Vincent Trocheck, Anders Lee, Chris Kreider, Jason Zucker, Charlie McAvoy, Dustin Byfuglien, Brock Boeser

It’s arguably the most talented Team USA roster ever. The Americans have remarkable depth, especially on defense — which led to some tough cuts. Byfuglien, Carlson and Faulk are close misses, while rookie McAvoy would make a strong roster case, especially after shouldering hefty minutes for the Bruins this season.

A theme in building this roster is blending veteran experience with the next wave of stars. For example, while Suter is a mainstay at manning the blue line, four of the eight defenseman are younger than 24. This sets the U.S. up for Olympic cycles to come.

Team USA beefed up its center position with Eichel and Matthews. Miller makes the cut for his versatility. And while the Americans could infuse even more youth — inviting rookie of the year candidates Boeser and Clayton Keller — the forward group is mostly filled with recognizable faces like Kane, Kessel and Pavelski. Anything less than than a silver would be considered a disappointment for this stacked roster. –E.K.

Canada

Just missed: Mark Giordano, Dougie Hamilton, Jake Muzzin, Sean Monahan, Corey Crawford, Jaden Schwartz, Jonathan Huberdeau, Ryan Getzlaf, Claude Giroux.

There isn’t an area of concern on this team. Those Crosby and Toews lines could lead Canada in scoring or play a shutdown role, and it would be fine either way. Price could falter, and Holtby could win gold. It’s frankly unfair to the rest of the world that the Canadians are this good.

As usual, Team Canada has enough talent in its pool to fill about three Olympic squads, but some players had to be left off the “A” team. At the forward spot, I added two players who are having outstanding seasons in the NHL, under the assumption that they would get in on that merit: the Flyers’ Couturier, a terrific potential shutdown guy if Canada needs one; and Hall, simply for the salt-in-the-Edmontonian-wound of watching him score a goal-per-game with McDavid.

I assume Mike Babcock would coach Team Canada if the NHL had decided to go; and so, on defense, I figured Babcock would go with familiarity and bring on Rielly — his Leafs workhorse — which meant leaving a worthy Giordano off. Finally, as much as Crawford has earned a shot, Team Canada has to start grooming Murray (who’s only 23) for a potential 2020 gig. –G.W.

Russia

Just missed: Nikita Gusev, Valeri Nichushkin, Ivan Telegin.

It’s a familiar situation for Team Russia: The group is stacked at forward and has elite goaltending, but defensive depth is once again a problem. Bobrovsky is the likely No. 1 goaltender, despite his recent struggles in Columbus. The 23-year-old Vasilevskiy will make a strong push for ice time, however. He’s having a terrific season for the Lightning.

If you think Kucherov has talented linemates in Tampa Bay — well, there won’t be much of a drop-off for him in this tournament. Perhaps he’ll stay with Namestnikov for chemistry’s sake, and be paired with a center like Malkin. As usual, the Russians boast some of the NHL’s best snipers in Ovechkin and Tarasenko, and Panarin will get to shine on an international stage. As usual, a podium finish is the expectation for Russia, though it might not have what it takes to compete with Canada or the U.S. — E.K.

Sweden

Just missed: Patric Hornqvist, Loui Eriksson, Alexander Wennberg

The most difficult decision here was trying to figure out if Sweden would take the Sedins at their advanced age for another Olympic run. Since both appear to still be breathing in and out, I think the answer would be “yes.” Leaving Honrqvist and Eriksson off might come as a shock to some; but — assuming the Sedins are there — Sweden has to make room for the newbies, like the Devils’ dynamic Bratt and William Karlsson, the ace sniper for the Vegas Golden Knights, whom one presumes would have played his way onto the team. (Backlund, meanwhile, gets the call over Wennberg as a versatile, bottom-six talent.)

With an offensively dynamic blue line — assuming Erik Karlsson finds his smile again after escaping Ottawa for a while — and one of the best big-game goalies in hockey history, in Lundqvist, all Sweden would need is for Backstrom’s line to click and one more year of Twin Magic to win another medal after taking silver in Sochi. –G.W.

Finland

Just missed: Jesse Puljujarvi, Henrik Haapala, Lauri Korpikoski

The word “transition” comes to mind when looking at the Team Finland roster, four years after its win over the United States for Olympic bronze. Are brilliant young offensive players like Laine, Barkov and Aho ready to lead the first post-Teemu Selanne group to a medal? Or would the Finns have to rely their usual recipe of great goaltending and peerless tenacity rather than offensive flourish?

As for the snubs, Puljujarvi might be the most notable. But at 19 years old and now just getting his sea legs in the NHL, he has time. –G.W.

Head coach Tony Granato will try to lead the United States team to the medal stand in Pyeongchang.Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

The NHL opted out of sending its players to the Olympics, and that means the overall quality of the hockey in the Pyeongchang Games is not going to be up to the level of the hockey played in 2010 in Vancouver, Canada, or 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

But there’s still bound to be excitement, drama and a chance for new heroes to emerge. The U.S. team is largely made up of athletes playing in European professional leagues, collegiate players and minor leaguers.

HuffPost @HuffPost

“I don’t think a lot of African-Americans play hockey at a high level,” said Boston University hockey player Jordan Greenway. “I’m just trying to get more and more of those kids to try and go out and do something different.” #Pyeongchang2018 https://t.co/f7XK7e59Vr

One of those players is 20-year-old Jordan Greenway, a 6’6″, 227-pound forward from Boston University. He will be the first African American to play for the U.S. Olympic hockey team.

“I’m the first African American to play hockey for the United States at the Olympics, but hopefully I’m the first of many,” Greenway said, per Maria Perez of Newsweek. “Hopefully these kids go out, try something different, play hockey, and hopefully I see a lot more playing in the near future.”

In addition to the social significance of Greenway’s presence, he brings size, strength, power and the ability to play a physical game. He has scored 22 goals and recorded 52 assists during his college career with the Terriers.

Here’s a look at the full U.S. roster. As for what the players will wear on the ice, Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press shared an image of Team USA’s jerseys for the Olympics:

Stephen Whyno @SWhyno

U.S. Olympic hockey jerseys: https://t.co/sjMXE7zcPe

The most accomplished player on the roster is forward Brian Gionta, who played 15 seasons in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres.

Gionta is known for his speed and quickness. The 5’7″, 179-pound right wing has the ability find open spaces on the ice and get rid of his shot quickly. As a result, Gionta can score and set up his teammates. He should serve as one of the team leaders.

The tournament is likely to be wide open. The Olympic Athletes from Russia have the most accomplished players, but they are not guaranteed to win.

NBC Olympics @NBCOlympics

[email protected]’s Ryan Zapolski isn’t a household name. Yet. https://t.co/qdaiuIL5BD

Boston Bruins @NHLBruins

Bruins prospect Ryan Donato is one of four college hockey players who will represent the USA in South Korea. 📝Read more as Donato shifts his focus to the Olympics: https://t.co/6kLBcxUTmk

United States coach Tony Granato believes the talented Russians still have to come together and play well as a team.

“This Olympics is wide open for a lot of reasons,” Granato said, per Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press (h/t Baltimore Sun). He elaborated:

“Russia’s got the most talented players in the world. They’re going to have the team that steps on the ice with the most talented players. Does that make them the best team for two weeks? No. We all know that. We all know how sports works. All you’re looking for is an opportunity to make the most and be the best that you can be for that period of time.”

Predictions

The United States will play hard and show plenty of emotion throughout the tournament, but this does not appear to be a year in which the Americans will bring home a medal.

Instead, Sweden looks like a gold medal-winning team, Canada has the inside track on the silver and the Olympic Athletes from Russia will take the bronze.

It would take several key breaks, and that means a couple of excellent bounces of the puck, for the United States to hit the medal stand.

USA Unveils Olympic Men’s Hockey Roster Without NHL Players

Without the ability to pick from a generation of young American stars, USA Hockey is leaning on a longtime NHL winger as captain and hopes a diverse roster can capture an Olympic medal.

At the Winter Classic in New York on Monday, the U.S. named veteran Brian Gionta captain as it unveiled its roster for the Pyeongchang Olympics, the first games without NHL players since 1994. There’s no Patrick Kane, Johnny Gaudreau, Auston Matthews, Jack Eichel or Jonathan Quick, so the U.S. men’s hockey team is made up of Gionta, four college players, three from the American Hockey League and 15 playing in professional leagues across Europe.

“We really like our roster,” general manager Jim Johannson said. “It’s a group that brings versatility and experience and includes players who have a lot of passion about representing our country.”

Denver’s Troy Terry, Boston University’s Jordan Greenway, St. Cloud State’s Will Borgen and Harvard’s Ryan Donato are the NCAA players who should give the U.S. a shot of youth. Terry and Greenway won World Junior gold with the U.S. last year.

“I get the opportunity to go over there and show everyone what I can do,” Greenway said. “I would have never (thought I’d) been saying to myself I will probably be playing in the Olympics in my junior year of college.”

This isn’t a rag-tag bunch of college kids like the 1980 “Miracle On Ice,” the last time the U.S. men’s hockey team won the Olympic gold medal. The goal was to build a team of varying talents that could compete with two-time defending champion Canada and favored Russia, so much of the roster is seasoned.

With 1,006 games played over 15 seasons, the 38-year-old Gionta has by far the most NHL experience of the 23 players named. A total of 15 players have appeared in the NHL, including AHL star Chris Bourque and European-based forwards Mark Arcobello and Jim Slater and defensemen James Wisniewski and Bobby Sanguinetti .

“I think it’s a great mix of young talent and veteran players with a lot of international experience,” said Sanguinetti, who was a first-round pick of the New York Rangers in 2006. “Excited to get together in a month.”

Tony Granato, who played at the 1988 Olympics and now coaches at Wisconsin, will be behind the bench in South Korea. The U.S. lost the bronze medal game to Finland in 2014 and got the silver in Vancouver in 2010.

But this is an entirely different dynamic with the NHL choosing not to send players, as national federations couldn’t pick any player with an active NHL contract. The initial U.S. roster includes the admittedly “semi-retired” Gionta, three players from the AHL in Bourque, Bobby Butler and John McCarthy, five from Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, five from Switzerland’s National League A, three from the Swedish Hockey League and two from multiple levels of Germany’s Deutsche Eishockey Liga.

“I think we put together an outstanding group of players that will represent us well come February and give us a great chance to do really well,” Granato said. “There was consideration of a lot of players who were there that have had good years and made it hard on us. That is the good thing about the depth of USA Hockey now. There are a lot of players out there that could potentially be Olympic athletes.”

Ryan Zapolski, who plays for Finnish-based Jokerit in the KHL, is the only goaltender on the roster so far, with two more to be added later this month. Granato said after the pre-Olympic Deutschland Cup in November that Zapolski had the tools to be the Americans’ starting goalie even though it was too early to name him as such.

Canada is expected to announce its roster on Jan. 11. Because NHL players aren’t going, Gionta called the tournament “wide open,” something Canada coach Willie Desjardins and others have said in recent months.

To that end, the U.S. roster is a blend of youth and experience that also takes into account the wider, international-sized ice that the tournament will be played on.

“We have a decent amount of players that are already used to playing in Europe on the big ice, which can be helpful,” said defenseman Ryan Gunderson, one of the eight players on the roster without NHL experience and who currently is playing in Sweden. “(We have) some younger, college guys, which I’m sure will bring a lot of skill and energy, then proven AHL players that can produce, as well. Gio, of course, has experienced the Olympics before and will lead the way.”

Gionta put up 588 points for the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres. He played for the U.S. at the 2006 Olympics and has been practicing with the AHL’s Rochester Americans to stay in shape for Pyeongchang.

The U.S. faces Slovenia in its Olympic opener on Feb. 14.

AP freelance writer Scott Charles contributed to this report.

Team USA men’s hockey roster announced

CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINEMAILMORE

One-time 48-goal scorer Brian Gionta, a collection of other former NHL players and the son of a Hockey Hall of Famer highlight the U.S. Olympic roster announced Monday by USA Hockey at the Winter Classic.

The 2018 Games next month in Pyeongchang, South Korea, will mark the first time since 1994 that active NHLers have not played in the Olympic Winter Games.

“People may not know all of our players, but we think fans will get to know them quickly, because they are exciting to watch,” U.S. coach Tony Granato told USA TODAY Sports.

Chris Bourque, the son of Hockey Hall of Famer Raymond Bourque, is another important player. Chris is 31 and has long been a standout in the American Hockey League. He boasts 11 goals and a league-best 39 points in 35 games for the Hershey (Pa.) Bears this season. He is eligible to play because he’s on an AHL-only contract.

More: What could have been: Team USA’s potential Olympic roster if NHL players were participating

More: Winter Olympics: Six two-time Olympians are named to U.S. women’s hockey roster

“We are so proud of our son Christopher on being named to the USA hockey team… there’s nothing better than representing your country. We will be there by your side for this unforgettable experience,” tweeted the elder Bourque, who played internationally for Canada, including in the 1998 Olympics.

The Americans chose to go with an experienced team, made up primarily of players who are standouts in European professional leagues. Mark Arcobello leads the Swiss League in scoring with 39 points in 33 games. Other U.S. choices Garrett Roe and Broc Little rank fourth and 11th, respectively, in that scoring race.

“We have a competitive team,” Granato said. “Russia will have some name players, but this tournament is expected to be wide open. You just need to play your best hockey, and it’s the coaching staff’s job to make sure we do that.”

The U.S. defense will include former NHLers Matt Gilroy, James Wisniewski, Jon Blum, Noah Welch, Bobby Butler, Chad Billins and Bobby Sanguinetti. Also on defense: Swedish League defenseman Ryan Gunderson.

— USA Hockey (@usahockey) January 1, 2018

Other forwards include Kontinental Hockey League standouts Brian O’Neill and Ryan Stoa, former NHLers John McCarthy and Jim Slater and German League standout Chad Kolarik.

Before NHL players started going to the Olympics, it was an American tradition to use younger stars. Mike Ramsey played one season at Minnesota before he became part of the 1980 Olympic team, and Eddie Olczyk and Pat LaFontaine played for the 1984 team as teenagers.

Ryan Zapolski, who plays in the KHL, is the USA’s top goalie selection.

But the Americans opted not to tap Buffalo Sabres prospect Casey Mittelstadt,19, who has been impressive in the ongoing world junior championships. NHL scouts thought another junior-age player, 19-year-old defenseman Adam Fox, might make the team. But he was not among the choices.

“We know our top younger players can play at this level. Look at what Auston Matthews has in the NHL,” Granato said. “We have talented junior players, and we had a lot of discussion of about those players before we made our decision.”

Drawing from the considerable talent in the KHL, Russia is considered the gold medal favorite. The Americans believe they have the talent to be a medal contender, although they didn’t perform well using some of these players at the recent Deutschland Cup. In three games, all losses, the Americans were outscored 12-4.

March 3: Fireworks go off before the outdoor game between the Maple Leafs and Capitals at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md. Amber Searls, USA TODAY Sports Capitals players skate toward Evgeny Kuznetsov after he scored the opening goal. Patrick Smith, Getty Images Maple Leafs center Zach Hyman celebrates his tying goal in the first period against the Capitals. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin put Washington up 2-1 with his 40th of the season and 598th of his career. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports Nicklas Backstrom celebrates after his goal put the Capitals ahead 3-1 in the first period. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports Maple Leafs fans hold up signs in the first period. Mitchell Leff, Getty Images Capitals fans celebrate a Washington goal. Mitchell Leff, Getty Images Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby makes a save against Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri (43). Amber Searls, USA TODAY Sports Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri (43) did get one past Braden Holtby in the second period to cut the lead to 3-2. Amber Searls, USA TODAY Sports John Carlson celebrates after his goal restored the Capitals’ two-goal lead. Patrick Smith, Getty Images Capitals left wing Jakub Vrana scored on a breakaway in the second period to make it 5-2 Washington. Nick Wass, AP That goal sent goalie Frederik Andersen packing. Patrick Smith, Getty Images Capitals owner Ted Leonsis stands at the glass during a power outage against the Maple Leafs. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports The New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres shake hands after the 2018 Winter Classic hockey game at Citi Field. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller celebrates with teammates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Buffalo Sabres during overtime in the 2018 Winter Classic hockey game at Citi Field. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller (10) celebrates with forward Jimmy Vesey (26) after scoring the game-winning goal against the Buffalo Sabres during overtime in the 2018 Winter Classic hockey game at Citi Field. Danny Wild, USA TODAY Sports New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller (10) scores the game-winning goal against Buffalo Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner (40) during overtime in the 2018 Winter Classic hockey game at Citi Field. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller (10) scores the game-winning goal against the Buffalo Sabres during overtime in the 2018 Winter Classic hockey game at Citi Field. Danny Wild, USA TODAY Sports New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller (10) scores the game-winning goal against Buffalo Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner (40) during overtime in the 2018 Winter Classic hockey game at Citi Field. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Buffalo Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner makes a save against New York Rangers center Boo Nieves. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Buffalo Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner looks on in net. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen (55) celebrates with teammates after scoring. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports New York Rangers left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) shoves Buffalo Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons (28) during the second period. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) takes a face off against Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports Buffalo Sabres right wing Kyle Okposo (21) battles for the puck with New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) and center Mika Zibanejad (93). Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports A general view of a flyover during the playing of the national anthem before the 2018 Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and the Buffalo Sabres at Citi Field. Danny Wild, USA TODAY Sports New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (15) take the ceremonial puck drop. Danny Wild, USA TODAY Sports New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stands in net at the Winter Classic. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports New York Rangers winger Paul Carey (28) scores a goal against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period. Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes controls the puck before a pass that led to Michael Grabner’s goal in the first period. Danny Wild, USA TODAY Sports Montreal Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk (27) looks on as the Ottawa Senators celebrate an empty-net goal scored by forward Nate Thompson (17) in the third period of the Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic hockey game at Lansdowne Park. Marc DesRosiers, USA TODAY Sports Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone (61) celebrates a goal scored in the third period of the Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic hockey game against the Montreal Canadiens at Lansdowne Park. Marc DesRosiers, USA TODAY Sports Montreal Canadiens forward Tomas Plekanec (14) faces off against Ottawa Senators forward Zack Smith (15) in the third period of the Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic hockey game at Lansdowne Park. Marc DesRosiers, USA TODAY Sports Ottawa Senators forward Ryan Dzigel (18) skates away with the puck as Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty (67) is unable to capitalize on an open net in the third period of the Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic hockey game at Lansdowne Park. Marc DesRosiers, USA TODAY Sports Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) makes a save in the third period of the Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic hockey game against the Montreal Canadiens at Lansdowne Park. Marc DesRosiers, USA TODAY Sports Montreal Canadiens center Byron Froese (42) faces off against Ottawa Senators center Nate Thompson (17) in the third period of the Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic hockey game at Lansdowne Park. Marc DesRosiers, USA TODAY Sports Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) makes a save in the third period of the Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic hockey game against the Montreal Canadiens at Lansdowne Park. Marc DesRosiers, USA TODAY Sports Ottawa Senators forward Ryan Dzingel (18) attempts to control the puck in the second period of the Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic hockey game against the Montreal Canadiens at Lansdowne Park. Marc DesRosiers, USA TODAY Sports Ottawa Senators forward Tom Pyatt (10) shoots the puck against Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) in the second period of the Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic hockey game at Lansdowne Park. Marc DesRosiers, USA TODAY Sports Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) catches the puck as Ottawa Senators forward Nate Thompson (17) looks on in the second period of the Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic hockey game at Lansdowne Park. Marc DesRosiers, USA TODAY Sports Montreal Canadiens forward Daniel Carr (43) and Ottawa Senators defenseman Fredrik Claesson (33) chase the puck in the first period of the Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic hockey game at Lansdowne Park. Marc DesRosiers, USA TODAY Sports Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty (67) battles for the puck with Ottawa Senators defenseman Johnny Oduya (29) in the first period of the Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic hockey game at Lansdowne Park. Marc DesRosiers, USA TODAY Sports Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher (11) collides into Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) in the first period of the Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic hockey game at Lansdowne Park. Marc DesRosiers, USA TODAY Sports

Interested in this topic? You may also want to view these photo galleries:

Replay Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions Last Slide CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINEMAILMORE

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

On this day in 1960, the underdog U.S. Olympic hockey team defeats the Soviet Union in the semifinals at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, California. The next day, the U.S. beats Czechoslovakia to win its first-ever Olympic gold medal in hockey.

The 1960 U.S. team was led by Jack Riley, the head hockey coach at West Point and himself a member of the 1948 U.S. Olympic hockey squad. His players were college students and amateurs and included two pairs of brothers, Bill and Bob Cleary and Bill and Roger Christian. Interestingly, Bill Christian’s son David was a member of the “Miracle on Ice” Olympic squad in 1980 that defeated the heavily favored Soviet Union in the semifinals and two days later beat Finland to capture the gold medal. The last player cut from the 1960 U.S. squad was Herb Brooks, who went on to coach the “Miracle on Ice” team two decades later.

The Americans had taken home silver medals in hockey at the Winter Games in 1952 and 1956, but going into the 1960 Olympics they were considered a long shot. The team managed to win its first four games against Czechoslovakia, Australia, Sweden and Germany, however, and then scored an upset victory over Canada and went on to meet the Soviets in the semi-final round on February 27. A packed crowd was on hand at Blythe Arena in Squaw Valley to witness the U.S. defeat the Soviets, 3-2, in a tightly fought game. It was the first time an American hockey squad had ever defeated the long-dominant Soviets in Olympic competition. The next day, the U.S. met the Czechs in the finals. After two periods, the U.S. was behind, 4-3; however, they scored six goals in the third period and went on to win the game, 9-4. It was America’s first-ever Olympic gold medal in hockey. Canada won the silver medal while the Soviets received the bronze.

Twenty years later, on February 22, 1980, history repeated itself when the U.S. hockey team beat the Soviet Union in the semifinals of the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. It was a major upset for the Soviets, who were considered the world’s best team at the time, even better than any professional team in North America. The victory was particularly charged because the U.S. and Soviet Union were still Cold War enemies. On February 24, the Americans defeated Finland, 4-2, for the gold. The Soviets won the silver and Sweden took the bronze.

Winter Olympics: Wondering who’s on Team USA Hockey? Here’s the roster of non-NHL players

With the NHL electing not to send its players to the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, you may be wondering who’s actually lacing up for the men’s Team USA Hockey team. The roster is a motley crew of former NHLers, AHL players, college stars, and players from leagues overseas that was announced at the Winter Classic.

The most recognizable name is likely longtime former New Jersey Devil Brian Gionta, who at 39 is the elder statesman of the team.

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Mark Arcobello, F, SC Bern (National League) – The 29-year-old from Milford, Connecticut played four years at Yale before spending time with the Oilers, Predators, Penguins, Coyotes and Maple Leafs at the NHL level.
  • Chad Billins, D, Linköpings HC (Swedish Hockey League) — The 28-year-old Michigan native co-captained Ferris State to their first Frozen Four in 2012. He is a former AHL All-Star and played 10 games for the Calgary Flames in 2013-2014.
  • Jonathon Blum, D, Admiral Vladivostok (KHL) — A former first-round pick of the Nashville Predators, the 29-year-old Blum has previously represented the United States three times at the international level, including in the 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championships.
  • Will Borgen, D, St. Cloud State (NCAA) — The 21-year-old Minnesota native is currently in his junior season at St. Cloud State. He was a fourth-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 2015.
  • Chris Bourque, F, Hershey Bears (AHL) — Son of NHL great Ray Bourque, the 32-year-old has had a cup of coffee at the NHL level between the Capitals, Penguins and Bruins. He’s a five-time AHL All-Star and was 30-goal scorer for the Hershey Bears in 2015-2016.
  • Bobby Butler, F, Milwaukee Admirals (AHL) — The 30-year-old Marlborough, Massachusetts native has 130 NHL games between the Senators, Devils, Predators and Panthers.
  • Ryan Donato, F, Harvard University (NCAA) — The 21-year-old Harvard standout hails from Scituate, Massachusetts and was a second-round pick of the Boston Bruins in 2014. Many expect him to join the Bruins after the conclusion of the Olympic tournament.
  • Matt Gilroy, D, Jokerit Helsinki (KHL) — The 33-year-old won the Hobey Baker as college hockey’s best player and won the NCAA national championship in his senior season with with Boston University in 2009. He spent time with the Rangers, Lightning, Senators and Panthers in the NHL.
  • Brian Gionta, F, n/a (NHL) — At 39 years old, the New York native is the oldest and most experienced player on the roster. He has played over 1000 games at the NHL level between the Devils, Canadiens and Sabres and has 588 points (including 289 goals) to his name.
  • Jordan Greenway, F, Boston University (NCAA) — The 20-year-old is the first black hockey player to suit up for Team USA at the Olympics. He’s a second-round draft pick of the Minnesota Wild (2015) and won a gold medal with the American team at the 2017 World Junior Championship.
  • Ryan Gunderson, D, Brynäs IF (Swedish Hockey League) — The 32-year-old Pennsylvania native played four years of college hockey at Vermont before bouncing around a number of clubs overseas.
  • Chad Kolarik, F, Adler Mannheim (Deutsche Eishockey Liga) — The 32-year-old Pennsylvania native played four years at Michigan before establishing a solid AHL career. He had a brief NHL stint with the Blue Jackets and Rangers.
  • David Leggio, G, EHC Munchen (Deutsche Eishockey Liga) — The 33-year-old New York product played at Clarkson University before going on to have a solid run in the AHL and overseas.
  • Broc Little, F, HC Davos (National League) — The 29-year-old Arizona product played four seasons with Yale before bouncing around leagues overseas.
  • Brandon Maxwell, G, BK Mlada Boleslav (Czech) — The 26-year-old was a sixth-round pick of the Avalanche in 2009 but never played a game in either the AHL or NHL.
  • John McCarthy, F, San Jose Barracuda (AHL) — The 31-year-old Boston native won an NCAA championship with BU in 2009. He has spent nearly a decade in the San Jose Sharks system and currently captains the team’s AHL affiliate.
  • Brian O’Neill, F, Jokerit Helsinki (KHL) — The 29-year-old Pennsylvania native spent four years at Yale before establishing a solid AHL career and spending 22 games with the New Jersey Devils in 2015-2016. He has since moved on to the KHL.
  • Garret Roe, F, EV Zug (National League) — The 29-year-old from Virginia spent four seasons playing college hockey for St. Cloud State and is a former Los Angeles Kings draft pick. He played two seasons in the AHL before bouncing around overseas.
  • Bobby Sanguinetti, D, HC Lugano (National League) — The 29-year-old New Jersey native was a first-round pick of the Rangers in 2006. He played five games for the Rangers and 40 more for the Carolina Hurricanes, plus nearly 400 games at the AHL level.
  • Jim Slater, F, HC Fribourg-Gottéron (National League) — The 35-year-old Michigan native captained Michigan State for two seasons and was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the first round of the 2002 NHL Draft. He played 584 NHL games, all in the Thrashers/Jets organization.
  • Ryan Stoa, F, Spartak Moscow (KHL) — The 30-year-old from Minnesota was drafted in the second round by the Colorado Avalanche in 2005 and also spent time in the Capitals organization. He won a bronze medal with Team USA at the 2007 World Junior Championship.
  • Troy Terry, F, University of Denver (NCAA) — The 20-year-old Anaheim Ducks prospect was the hero of the 2017 World Junior Championship, scoring three shootout goals against Russia in the semi-final and then the game-winning shootout goal to beat Canada in the gold medal game. He also won an NCAA championship with Denver in 2017.
  • Noah Welch, D, Malmö Redhawks (Swedish Hockey League) – The 35-year-old Massachusetts native spent four years at Harvard and captained the Crimson in his senior season. He was a second-round pick of the Penguins in 2001 and played 75 NHL games with the Pens, Panthers, Lightning and Thrashers.
  • James Wisniewski, D, Kassel Huskies (DEL2) — The 33-year-old Michigan native had a lengthy NHL career, splitting 552 games between the Blackhawks, Ducks, Islanders, Canadiens, Blue Jackets, and Hurricanes. He won gold with Team USA at the 2004 World Junior Championship.
  • Ryan Zapolski, G, Jokerit Helsinki (KHL) — The 31-year-old Pennsylvania native played four years at Mercyhurst College before spending parts of seven seasons in the ECHL and then going overseas.

It’ll be intriguing to see how the mix of youth and vets mesh during the tournament. As mentioned, the oldest player on the team is former Devils, Canadiens and Sabres forward Brian Gionta (39 years old), while the youngest is Denver’s Troy Terry (20). Gionta, who played for the 2006 Olympic team, will captain the 2018 squad.

Terry will be one of four active college players joining Team USA. Terry has already proven he can come up in big moments for his country on the international stage, as he was the shootout hero during last year’s gold medal game between the United States and Canada at the World Junior Championship.

In addition to the men’s roster, USA Hockey also announced the women’s roster and the sled team.

Russia USA ice hockey Youth Olympics final live | Olympic Channel

Fireworks are guaranteed when Russia and USA meet in ice hockey.

The Cold War, and the countries’ respective superpower status in the East and the West, no doubt plays its part in the rivalry.

And while Russia – including the Soviet Union, Unified Team and Olympic Athletes from Russia – share the record tally of nine golds in Olympic men’s competition with Canada, there is a special frisson when they face off against the USA.

After three comprehensive victories so far, Russia go into Wednesday’s Winter Youth Olympic Games final as firm favourites with Matvei Michkov scoring seven goals.

But Isaac Howard has also found the net seven times at Lausanne 2020, and he will be hoping to lead USA to a famous win.

You can watch the clash live here on Olympic Channel at 15:00 CET and keep up to date with all the action from Lausanne on our live daily blog.

Russia celebrate after Vyacheslav Malov scores in the semi-final win over Finland (photo courtesy of OIS/Joe Toth)Russia celebrate after Vyacheslav Malov scores in the semi-final win over Finland (photo courtesy of OIS/Joe Toth)

USA aim for their own ‘Miracle on Ice’

Those of an older vintage will remember the ‘Miracle on Ice’ when a USA team comprised largely of college students brought the Soviet Union’s mighty Red Machine to a halt at the 1980 Games.

While the task facing the Americans inside the Vaudoise Arena is less daunting, the odds are certainly against them.

But they can take inspiration from what turned out to be the gold medal decider in Lake Placid.

The USSR had won gold at five of the previous six Games, and cruised through to the four-team final round with five victories out of five in Group A.

Backed by legendary goaltender Vladislav Tretiak, the Soviets had future NHL greats Slava Fetisov and Sergei Makarov among their leading lights on the ice.

In a warm-up meeting ahead of the Games, they had beaten USA 10-3 at Madison Square Garden.

Herb Brooks’ mostly amateur roster had an average age of just 21 while the Red Machine’s players were amateur in name only, given posts in the military or national infrastructure to play for their employers’ teams.

Despite their obvious shortcomings, USA managed to reach the final four by winning four and tying one game with Sweden who progressed with the same record.

Finland, runners-up to the Soviet Union, completed the line-up.

With their group meetings carried forward, USA had to beat the Soviets in the final round opener to have any chance of gold.

USA goaltender Jim Craig guards his net in the ‘Miracle on Ice’ against Russia in 1980 at Lake PlacidUSA goaltender Jim Craig guards his net in the ‘Miracle on Ice’ against Russia in 1980 at Lake Placid

The Soviets led 1-0 and 2-1 before a rare mistake from Tretiak allowed Mark Johnson to score on the rebound with one second left of the opening period.

Soviet head coach Viktor Tikhonov left players on both teams stunned as he then replaced his star goalie with Vladimir Myshkin.

The back-up looked assured in the second period and the Soviets were well on top with Aleksandr Maltsev’s power play goal 2:18 in making it 3-2.

But with the crowd roaring on the rookies, Johnson scored again on a power play 8:39 into the third period to level the scores.

And then at the midpoint of the final period, captain Mike Eruzione hit a high shot past Myshkin to put USA ahead for the first time and spark delirium inside the Lake Placid Olympic Center.

For 10 minutes, the Soviet Union threw everything at the American youngsters.

For 10 minutes, they held firm with goalie Jim Craig in inspired form.

As the crowd counted down the last couple of seconds, ABC commentator Al Michaels famously said, “Do you believe in miracles? YES!”

The Soviet team stood in disbelief as the Americans celebrated one of the biggest upsets in sporting history.

USA went on to beat Finland 4-2 to secure gold with the USSR having to settle for silver despite thumping Sweden 9-2.

It remains the last time the United States claimed the Olympic men’s ice hockey title.

The USA upset the Soviet Union to win men’s ice hockey | Lake Placid 1980

The USA upsets the Soviet Union and wins gold during the hockey game known as the “Miracle on Ice” at Lake Placid 1980.

Competing as Olympic Athletes from Russia at PyeongChang 2018, the Russian men’s ice hockey team claimed their first gold since their 1992 triumph as the Unified Team.

In PyeongChang, they faced USA in the group stages and brushed them aside 4-0 thanks to two goals apiece from Nikolai Prokhorkin and future NHL Hall of Famer Ilya Kovalchuk.

OAR v USA (Group B) – Men’s Ice Hockey | PyeongChang 2018 Replays

This qualification game was held at the Gangneung Hockey Centre on 17 February 2018.

Russia aim to keep up scoring record

The Russian Youth Olympians looked set for a stern test in their opener against Canada.

But they had all but settled the tie in the first period, leading 4-0 with Matvei Michkov scoring twice.

They ran out 6-2 winners and then proceeded to thump Denmark 9-0 with Michkov on target four times.

Finland were expected to provide stiffer opposition in the semi-finals but they were ruthlessly swatted aside 10-1.

Michkov only found the net once on this occasion but the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl prospect – who is already tipped to follow Alex Ovechkin as a number one NHL Draft pick – is the man to keep an eye on in the gold medal game.

But even if the United States keep him quiet, Russia have plenty of threats including captain Ivan Miroshnichenko and Ilya Kvochko.

Russia’s hottest prospect since Alex Ovechkin

Matvei Michkov was born in 2004, six months after Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin were picked one and two in the NHL Draft. The 15-year-old youngster from Perm has broken scoring records galore at Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, and the scouts are paying attention as he led Russia to win gold in Lausanne.

Howard just can’t stop scoring

While Michkov is the star of the Russian side, Isaac Howard is the man blazing a trail for the US in Lausanne.

He scored hat tricks in both his side’s opening games – the 7-5 win over Finland and the 8-2 decision over Switzerland.

The semi-final against North American neighbours was a much closer affair, but it was Howard who came up with the game-winning goal in the second period.

Jimmy Snuggerud, son of Olympic ice hockey player Dave, is a member of the American team.

He’s enjoying the experience of playing in the tournament, and hopes to meet his current rivals again in the NHL some day.

Jimmy Snuggerud bids to reach NHL and emulate Dad

His father and grandfather both played ice hockey for the United States at the Olympic Games. Now young Jimmy Snuggerud is at the Youth Olympic Games as he bids to follow dad Dave into the NHL. And he says he wants to play hockey until he’s 80!

How to watch ice hockey final at Winter Youth Olympics

The men’s ice hockey final at the Lausanne Winter Youth Olympics starts at 15:00 CET at the Vaudoise Arena.

It is live on the , on YouTube and on connected TV including Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku.

Super 16: Top three teams end 2018 unchanged

The Lightning, who have three games remaining before the calendar flips to 2019, lead the NHL with 54 wins and 113 points in 81 regular-season games played in 2018. The Winnipeg Jets, who are again No. 2 in the Super 16, are second with 53 wins and 112 points in 78 games.

But what will happen in 2019 to the Lightning, Jets and the rest of the teams ranked this week? That’s part of the exercise in the final Super 16 of this calendar year.

To create the power rankings, each of the 13 staff members puts together his or her version of what the Super 16 should look like. Those are submitted, and a point total is assigned to each.

The team picked first is given 16 points, second gets 15, third gets 14 and so on down to No. 16, which gets one point.

Here is latest Super 16, with a look back at the biggest moment of 2018 and a 2019 prediction for each team:

1. Tampa Bay Lightning (28-7-2)

Total points: 208

Last week: No. 1

2018 biggest moment: Victor Hedman wins the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman for the 2017-18 season.

2019 prediction: The Lightning will at least reach the Stanley Cup Final.

Video: [email protected]: Stamkos buries one-timer on power play

2. Winnipeg Jets (24-10-2)

Total points: 189

Last week: No. 2

2018 biggest moment: The Jets win a Stanley Cup Playoff game for the first time in Winnipeg/Atlanta Thrashers franchise history on April 11, defeating the Minnesota Wild 3-2 in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round. They advance to the conference final, where they lose in five games to the Vegas Golden Knights.

2019 prediction: At age 20, forward Patrik Laine will score at least 50 goals this season and sign the richest contract in team history during the offseason. Laine, who can become a restricted free agent after this season, has 23 goals in 36 games, a 52-goal pace. Oh, and the Jets will reach the Stanley Cup Final.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs (25-10-2)

Total points: 182

Last week: No. 3

2018 biggest moment: The Maple Leafs sign center John Tavares to a seven-year, $77 million contract on July 1.

2019 prediction: They will win their first playoff series in 15 years.

4. Washington Capitals (22-10-3)

Total points: 165

Last week: No. 5

2018 biggest moment: The Capitals win the Stanley Cup for the first time since entering the NHL in 1974 when they defeat the Golden Knights 4-3 in Game 5 of the Final on June 7 at T-Mobile Arena.

2019 prediction: Alex Ovechkin will win the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy for the eighth time and will score 60 goals for the second time in his career, good enough for the 33-year-old left wing to win the Hart Trophy as MVP for the fourth time. He leads the NHL with 29 goals in 35 games, a 68-goal pace.

Video: A look back on the Capitals first Stanley Cup victory

5. Nashville Predators (22-13-2)

Total points: 156

Last week: No. 4

2018 biggest moment: The Predators win the Presidents’ Trophy for the first time in their history, finishing 2017-18 with 117 points. At age 35, Pekka Rinne wins the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goalie for the first time in his career.

2019 prediction: General manager David Poile will make a significant move before the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 25 to upgrade his slumping team, which lost all four games last week (0-3-1) and has fallen four points behind the Jets for first in the Central Division.

6. Calgary Flames (22-12-3)

Total points: 141

Last week: No. 6

2018 biggest moment: The Flames acquire defenseman Noah Hanifin and forward Elias Lindholm from the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Dougie Hamilton, forward Micheal Ferland and the rights to defenseman Adam Fox on June 23. Hanifin has 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) and is playing 20:55 per game. In 37 games, Lindholm has matched his NHL career high in goals (17) and has 39 points, six shy of tying his career best, set in 2016-17.

2019 prediction: The Flames will finish first in the Pacific Division and play the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference First Round in the first Battle of Alberta matchup in the playoffs since 1991.

7. Buffalo Sabres (21-11-5)

Total points: 124

Last week: No. 7

2018 biggest moment: The Sabres select defenseman Rasmus Dahlin with the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft on June 22 at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

2019 prediction: The Sabres will reach the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

8. San Jose Sharks (19-12-7)

Total points: 115

Last week: No. 8

2018 biggest moment: The Sharks acquire defenseman Erik Karlsson in a blockbuster trade from the Ottawa Senators on Sept. 13. Karlsson has 26 points (two goals, 24 assists) in 37 games, including 10 assists during an active eight-game point streak.

2019 prediction: Karlsson will not re-sign and instead become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Forward Joe Thornton will sign a one-year contract with the Sharks for the third consecutive offseason and continue his career into his 40s (he turns 40 on July 2). Forward Joe Pavelski, who is also in the final year of his contract, will also re-sign with the Sharks and the 34-year-old captain will play in his 1,000th NHL game, all with San Jose, next season.

9. Columbus Blue Jackets (21-12-3)

Total points: 99

Last week: No. 12

2018 biggest moment: The Blue Jackets rally from a three-goal deficit by scoring four consecutive goals to defeat the Detroit Red Wings 5-4 in overtime at Nationwide Arena on April 3, moving within one point of clinching a playoff berth for the second straight season. They clinch that berth two nights later in a 5-4 overtime loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

2019 prediction: The Blue Jackets will re-sign forward Artemi Panarin and trade goalie Sergei Bobrovsky before the trade deadline on Feb. 25.

Video: [email protected]: Panarin turns on the jets, nets backhander

10. Boston Bruins (20-13-4)

Total points: 93

Last week: No. 10

2018 biggest moment: After losing Games 5 and 6 and trailing by one goal going into the third period of Game 7, the Bruins rally by scoring four goals to defeat the Maple Leafs 7-4 in the Eastern Conference First Round at TD Garden on April 25.

2019 prediction: David Pastrnak will be talked about as a superstar after his two big moments in January. He’ll produce big in a Bruins win in the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic against the Chicago Blackhawks at Notre Dame Stadium on New Year’s Day, and he’ll put on a show representing the Atlantic Division during All-Star Weekend in San Jose.

11. Colorado Avalanche (19-12-6)

Total points: 84

Last week: No. 9

2018 biggest moment: The Avalanche clinch a playoff berth with a 5-2 win against the St. Louis Blues on April 7, the final day of the 2017-18 regular season. The win gives them 95 points, one season after they finished with an NHL-low 48.

2019 prediction: Nathan MacKinnon, who is third in the NHL coming out of the break with 56 points (22 goals, 34 assists), will win the Art Ross Trophy as the League’s top scorer. He’ll finish with two more points than linemate Mikko Rantanen, who is first with 59 points (16 goals, 43 assists).

12. Vegas Golden Knights (20-15-4)

Total points: 51

Last week: No. 13

2018 biggest moment: The Golden Knights defeat the Jets 2-1 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final at Bell MTS Place on May 20 to advance to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season. They defeat the Capitals 6-4 in Game 1 of the Cup Final at T-Mobile Arena on May 28 before dropping four in a row to lose the series.

2019 prediction: They will get back to the playoffs but lose in the Western Conference First Round against the Sharks in a matchup of the second- and third-place teams in the Pacific Division.

Video: Looking back at memorable moments of 2018 in Vegas

13. Pittsburgh Penguins (18-12-6)

Total points: 47

Last week: NR

2018 biggest moment: Jake Guentzel scores four consecutive goals in a span of 13:52 bridging the second and third periods and the Penguins win their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Philadelphia Flyers with an 8-5 victory in Game 6 at Wells Fargo Center.

2019 prediction: Matt Murray will use his last three performances going into the Christmas break as a springboard to re-establishing himself as Pittsburgh’s No. 1 goalie, and he will finally stay healthy. Murray allowed four goals on 112 shots in winning three straight games against the Los Angeles Kings, Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes.

14. Anaheim Ducks (19-14-5)

Total points: 45

Last week: No. 11

2018 biggest moment: The Ducks cap a second-half surge by clinching a playoff berth for a sixth consecutive season with a 3-1 win against the Minnesota Wild at Honda Center on April 4. The Ducks go 25-10-4 from Jan. 13 to the end of the season after going 19-15-9 in their first 43 games.

2019 prediction: Anaheim will qualify for the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season, and goalie John Gibson will win the Vezina Trophy.

15. Montreal Canadiens (19-13-5)

Total points: 35

Last week: No. 15

2018 biggest moment: The Canadiens acquire center Max Domi for center Alex Galchenyuk in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes on June 15. Domi leads Montreal with 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists) in 37 games. The Canadiens also draft center Jesperi Kotkaniemi with the No. 3 pick in the 2018 draft on June 22. Kotkaniemi, 18, has 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in 37 games.

2019 prediction: The Canadiens will qualify for the playoffs.

16. New York Islanders (18-13-4)

Total points: 13

Last week: No. 16

2018 biggest moment: Lou Lamoriello takes over as director of hockey operations on May 22, names himself general manager on June 5 and hires Barry Trotz, fresh off his Stanley Cup championship with the Capitals, as coach on June 21. Lamoriello and Trotz can’t convince Tavares to re-sign, but the Islanders are still in the playoff mix without him.

2019 prediction: The Islanders will miss the playoffs, but the sting won’t feel so bad because they will feel good about their future, especially with the emergence of forward Joshua Ho-Sang in the second half. Those good feelings will get even better in May, when ground is broken on their new arena near Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

Video: The Islanders brought some notable new faces in 2018

Others receiving points: Dallas Stars 10, Edmonton Oilers 9, Minnesota Wild 2

Dropped out: Edmonton Oilers (No. 14)

HERE’S HOW WE RANKED ‘EM

AMALIE BENJAMIN

TIM CAMPBELL

BRIAN COMPTON

NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA

TOM GULITTI

ADAM KIMELMAN

ROBERT LAFLAMME

MIKE G. MORREALE

TRACEY MYERS

BILL PRICE

SHAWN P. ROARKE

DAN ROSEN

MIKE ZEISBERGER

ABOUT THE IIHF WORLD RANKING

The IIHF World Ranking is a tool to reflect the long-term quality of the countries’ national team program. The IIHF World Ranking is based on awarding points for the final positions in the last four IIHF World Championships and in the last Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament. The 2017 IIHF World Ranking published in May 2017 is thus based on the performance at the 2017, 2016, 2015, and the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship and at the 2014 Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament in Sochi.

The team that wins the IIHF World Championship gold medal or the Olympic gold medal receives 1200 points. In general, there is a 20-point interval between two ranked positions (for example, 880 points for the 13th place and 860 points for the 14th place). As an exception to this principle there is a 40-point interval between gold and silver, silver and bronze, the 4th and 5th position and between the 8th and 9th position in the top division. The reason for the larger intervals for these positions is to give teams a bonus for reaching the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, the final and for winning the gold medal. (The bonus formula can be changed with any alterations to the playing format).

To enable the ranking to accurately reflect current form, the greatest importance is given to results of the last year’s competition. To a lesser degree, attention is also paid to results from previous years. The system uses a four-year cycle as the points earned in one year decline linearly within the next 3 years and in the 5th year results are dropped from the calculation altogether.

EXAMPLE: VALUE OF THE GOLD MEDAL

The IIHF World Ranking will be released following each IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship and the Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament.

Before each World Championship, a pre-championship report will be released, in which the values of the previous seasons are already reduced according to the above-described procedure and where only the points of the upcoming competition need to be added to get the IIHF World Ranking for the year.

Please direct inquiries about the World Ranking system to