The Rangers boast several Americans on their roster, three of whom have been invited to Team USA’s Orientation Camp.
Ryan McDonagh should be a lock to help man the American blueline. Since joining the Rangers, McDonagh has steadily been developing a skillset that is among the National Hockey League’s best. The St. Paul, Minn-native’s breakout passes and ability to join the rush will be a major asset to coach Dan Byslma, but it is his elite skating that will ensure his key role on the larger international ice surface in Sochi. Additionally, McDonagh has experience representing his country at the World Junior U-18’s, the World Juniors and the World Championships.
Captain Ryan Callahan should also be a lock to play for Team USA after being a member of the 2010 Silver Medal-winning squad. While making the team would shock nobody, Callahan also could be in the running to wear the ‘C’ on his sweater. The Rochester, N.Y.-native would be relied upon heavily in a bottom-six and penalty-killing role, bringing his usual 110 percent every shift. Like McDonagh, Callahan’s international resume also includes playing in the World Juniors and World Championships in addition to his one Olympic appearance.
Derek Stepan elevated his game last season in a big way, as he led the Rangers in scoring in the regular season and added two game-winning goals in the playoffs. The Hastings, Minn.-product has an excellent two-way game and has continued to develop his offensive skills since his rookie year. While he’s a natural center, his versatility could strengthen Team USA’s left wing depth. In 2010, Stepan captained teammates Rangers Chris Kreider and Danny Kristo — as well as Wolfpack forward Ryan Bourque — to a Gold Medal at the World Junior Championships.