Stars and Stripes Forever
Team USA is going for a sweep of major hockey tournaments this year. In January, the men’s junior team won with a thrilling shootout victory over Canada. Last month, after an 11th hour contract negotiation, the American women rolled through the competition to win the women’s world championship.
USA is led in this tournament by head coach Jeff Blashill of the Detroit Red Wings. Notable NHL stars on the roster include Jack Eichel, Johnny Gaudreau, Dylan Larkin, Jacob Trouba, and Noah Hanifin. The goaltenders are Jimmy Howard and Connor Hellebuyck.
The team also includes Arizona Coyotes defenseman and Central Ohio native Connor Murphy. Murphy was previously part of the team that won the 2013 World Junior tournament.
Blue Jackets in action
Now for the important part: which members of the Columbus Blue Jackets organization will be competing?
Belarus: Oleg Yevenko
Czech Republic: no current players, but former Jackets Vinny Prospal and Jaroslav Spacek are assistant coaches (still love ya, Vinny!)
Finland: Joonas Korpisalo, Markus Hannikainen
Latvia: Elvis Merzlikins
Russia: Vladislav Gavrikov
Switzerland: Dean Kukan
Sweden: Lars “William” Karlsson
Teams that have no Blue Jackets and are therefore dead to us: Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Slovenia, Slovakia, USA (gasp!)