AP Picture/Jeffrey T. Barnes
First line: Jason Robertson, Auston Matthews, Alex DeBrincat
Second line: Matthew Tkachuk, Jack Eichel, Cole Caufield
Third line: Brady Tkachuk, Tage Thompson, Jack Hughes
Fourth line: Johnny Gaudreau, Matty Beniers, Trevor Zegras
Extras: Kyle Connor, Jake Guentzel
This was extremely troublesome to determine. The U.S. has a ton of excellent facilities and left wings, and arguably two spots within the beginning 12 may have facilities enjoying “out of place” at proper wing versus having pure proper wings in these spots. It’s a little dangerous to do this, however right here in America, we would like the most effective gamers no matter place.
Up the center, Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel are as automated because it will get.
The 25-year-old Matthews is without doubt one of the NHL’s finest and the reigning Hart Trophy winner. Eichel, wholesome after 2021 neck surgical procedure, can have years in Vegas to indicate precisely why he got here into the NHL with a lot hype in 2015 out of Boston College.
Tage Thompson, 25, has exploded onto the scene as one of many NHL’s high facilities with ability and capturing prowess for days. Matty Beniers, who can be simply 23 in 2025, is already displaying followers in Seattle how good he’s—and the way good he’ll be in three years ought to be one thing else.
I’d be remiss to not have 21-year-olds Jack Hughes and Trevor Zegras on the group as effectively, and the U.S. will want them for his or her means to create and fill the web. I’m placing them on the proper wing on separate strains regardless of their left-handed capturing. When gamers can create and shoot like they’ll, it doesn’t matter the place they’re on the ice, simply as long as they’re on it.
The opposite two proper wings—Alex DeBrincat, 24, and Cole Caufield, 21—are dynamic aim scorers and succesful forecheckers who can flip the sport on its head with a steal and a snipe. Lining them up with Matthews and Eichel, respectively, is like giving these facilities dynamite to play with.
On the left wing, having California-born Jason Robertson on the highest line with Matthews means having two MVP-level performers working collectively to break different groups’ goaltending. Each pulled in Hart votes final season, and there’s not a lot cause they’ll worsen earlier than the World Cup.
Arizona natives Brady and Matthew Tkachuk are slam dunks to be on the group and upset opponents deeply. No matter which line you place them on, their means to attain, play bodily and create mayhem units them aside and offers a component to drive Canada (and others) out of their minds.
The fourth spot on the left wing is difficult, however when the World Cup comes round, Johnny Gaudreau can be 32 and an esteemed veteran. His means to attain a ton might wane in that point, however he’s dynamic, and piling up factors comes naturally. Having him because the grizzled vet on a line with Beniers and Zegras will assist them give the U.S. a full four-line assault squad.
Choosing two extras would possibly’ve been probably the most troublesome a part of this.
It could be tragic to depart routine 30- to 40-goal scorer Kyle Connor off this roster. As a pure left wing, the Michigan-born 25-year-old is the apparent contender to take Gaudreau’s spot. The one half that takes away from Connor’s sport is he’s not sturdy defensively. However we would like objectives, dang it, and that’s one factor he excels at.
It’s additionally one thing Jake Guentzel is nice at too. The Penguins star winger hasn’t simply fed off enjoying with Sidney Crosby, he can fill the web on his personal too. Sure, he’s additionally a left wing, however once more, objectives. We like objectives.
Leaving Matt Boldy, Clayton Keller, Brock Boeser, J.T. Miller, Troy Terry and Alex Tuch out of the combo was onerous to do, however onerous choices include nice duty.
If America goes to win the World Cup of Hockey, this crew has an impressive alternative to do it.