13 NHL prospects on United States Olympic roster

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The 25-player roster includes 15 NCAA players.

Beniers, selected No. 2 by the Seattle Kraken in the 2021 NHL Draft, has scored 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists) in 22 games as a sophomore at the University of Michigan. He is the seventh-youngest player named to the U.S. Olympic men’s team (19 years, two months, eight days).

“[Beniers] is super stable; he’s super reliable,” Michigan defenseman Luke Hughes said. “You know what you’re going to get with him every game. He works extremely hard and hunts pucks down. When he does have the puck, he’s super reliable in the defensive zone, neutral zone and offensive zone. He’s just someone who’s really trustworthy.

“He’s going to be a big part of the Olympic men’s team.”

Sanderson, the No. 5 pick by the Ottawa Senators in the 2020 NHL Draft, is second among defensemen in NCAA Division I ice hockey with 22 points (six goals, 16 assists) in 17 games as a sophomore at the University of North Dakota. He is the 10th-youngest player named to the U.S. team (19 years, six months, five days).

“He unreal,” North Dakota coach Brad Berry said. “He’s really kind of gone over and above what we expected. We always knew he was a really good player. Just his elite skating ability and the way he reads plays … he does everything really, really well.”

Mark Howe (16 years, eighth months, seven days) is the youngest player to represent the United States. He won a silver medal at the 1972 Sapporo Olympics in Japan.

The other NHL prospects to make the roster are forwards Brendan Brisson (No. 29, Vegas Golden Knights, 2020), Nick Abruzzese (No. 124, Toronto Maple Leafs, 2019 NHL Draft), Noah Cates (No. 137, Philadelphia Flyers, 2017 NHL Draft), Sean Farrell (No. 124, Montreal Canadiens, 2020), Sam Hentges (No. 210, Minnesota Wild, 2018 NHL Draft), Matthew Knies (No. 57, Maple Leafs, 2021) and Nathan Smith (No. 91, Winnipeg Jets, 2018); defensemen Brock Faber (No. 45, Los Angeles Kings, 2020), Drew Helleson (No. 47, Colorado Avalanche, 2019), and Nick Perbix (No. 169, Tampa Bay Lightning, 2017); and goalie Drew Commesso (No. 46, Chicago Blackhawks, 2020).

Former New York Rangers coach David Quinn will coach the United States.

The NHL announced Dec. 22 its players would not participate in the 2022 Olympics due to the regular-season schedule being disrupted as a result of increasing COVID-19 cases and a rising number of postponed games. As of Thursday, 104 games had been postponed.

The rest of the forwards selected by the United States are Kenny Agostino (Torpedo, Kontinental Hockey League), Marc McLaughlin (Boston College, NCAA), Ben Meyers (Minnesota, NCAA), Andy Miele (Torpedo, KHL), Brian O’Neill (Jokerit, KHL) and Nick Shore (Novosibirsk, KHL).

Defensemen selected were Brian Cooper (IK Oskarshamn, Swedish Hockey League), Steven Kampfer (Ak Bars Kazan, KHL), Aaron Ness (Providence, American Hockey League), and David Warsofsky (Ingolstadt, Germany). The two other goalies are Strauss Mann (Skelleftea, SHL) and Pat Nagle (Lehigh Valley, AHL).

The United States will play preliminary round games in Group A with Canada, Germany and China. It opens the 2022 Olympics against China on Feb. 10.

NHL.com staff writer Mike G. Morreale contributed to this report

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