Martin, Orpik selected for United States roster - 01-01-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

The United States revealed its roster for the upcoming Olympic games in Sochi. Penguins defensemen Paul Martin and Brooks Orpik (above) were each named to the team.

Here's a quick player-by-player breakdown of the roster.


Player, Team - David Backes, center
Height, Weight - 6-foot-3, 221 pounds
Statistics - 35 games, 30 points (16 goals, 14 assists)
Report - One of the game's best defensive forwards, Backes will be relied on as a shutdown bottom-six center in this tournament. A big, physical player who can knock the best offensive forwards off their games, it remains to be seen how a player of his size will adapt to the larger IIHF-style rinks which will be used in this tournament.

Player, Team - Dustin Brown (right), Kings
Height, Weight - 6-foot-1, 212 pounds
Statistics - 40 games, 13 points (seven goals, six assists)
Report - Brown will likely be a bottom-six forward on this roster. He's a nasty, tenacious forechecker who can play either wing and isn't afraid drop an opponent with a questionable hit. His offense has struggled this season but in the context of this tournament, his value is as a checking line winger. If he plays on a line with Backes, that will be one nasty line.

Player, Team - Ryan Callahan, Rangers
Height, Weight - 5-foot-11, 180 pounds
Statistics - 24 games, 13 points (seven goals, six assists)
Report - Like Brown, Callahan is set for bottom-six duties in this tournament. He's a tenacious defensive presence who isn't afraid to block shots. Injuries can be a concern with him. Callaghan has a little offensive acumen but his role on this team will be based on defense.

Player, Team - Patrick Kane, Blackhawks
Height, Weight - 5-foot-11, 181 pounds
Statistics - 42 games, 53 points (23 goals, 30 assists)
Report - If Kane's star has been bright enough the past four years with a starring role in two Stanley Cup championships and as a significant contributor to the United States' 2010 silver medal-winning team in 2010, he can become a true superstar in these Olympic games. A waterbug of a player who excels on the smaller North American ice, Kane's game is suited perfectly for the larger European ice surfaces. He could very well be the tournament's top scorer or even its best player.

Player, Team - Ryan Kesler, Canucks
Height, Weight -
6-foot-2, 202 pounds
Statistics -
41 games, 27 points (15 goals, 12 assists)
Report -
Kesler is one of the game's best two-way centers. A one-time 40-goal scorer, Kesler's primary value Team USA will be his ability to shutdown opponent clamp down against the Sidney Crosbys and Evgeni Malkins of this tournament. Additionally, Kesler is one of the better net-front presences available to Team USA.

Player, Team - Phil Kessel (right), Maple Leafs
Height, Weight - 6-foot-1, 202 points
Statistics - 41 games, 37 points (20 games, 17 assists)
Report - One of the game's best pure goal scorers, Kessel has a chance to excel in this tournament. Like Kane, Kessel's speed and skating ability could shine on the larger ice surfaces. Kessel will need to carry a significant portion of the team's offense for it to compete with Russia and Canada.

Player, Team - T.J. Oshie, Blues
Height, Weight - 5-foot-11, 189 pounds
Statistics - 39 games, 33 points (six goals, 27 assists)
Report - One of the game's better skaters, Oshie's talents will be a good fit for the larger ice surface. While capable of doing some pretty things with the puck, he's a bottom six forward in this tournament. Presumably, he'll get some ice time with his Blues teammate Backes and take on a lot of opponent's top lines.

Player, Team - Max Pacioretty, Canadiens
Height, Weight - 6-foot-2, 219 pounds
Statistics - 32 games, 21 points (13 goals, nine assists)
Report - A creative player with solid size and a good set of hands, Pacioretty is a bit of a surprise to make this team as he hasn't had an overly impressive season. While he did reach the 30-goal mark in 2012-13, his 2013-14 campaign has been marred by injury. If healthy, he is a creative goal scorer.

Player, Team - Zach Parise, Wild
Height, Weight -
5-foot-11, 190 pounds
Statistics -
37 games, 27 points (15 goals, 12 assists)
Report -
As complete of a player as the United States has, Parise has has an underwhelming season partially due to injury. If healthy, he has a unique blend of skill of discipline and is capable of being used in virtually any situation on the ice. Similar to Vancouver in 2010, Parise will have to be on of the United States' best players in Sochi.

Player, Team - Joe Pavelski, Sharks
Height, Weight - 5-foot-11, 190 pounds
Statistics - 40 games, 37 points (16 goals, 21 assists)
Report - One of the NHL's better big-game players, Pavelski will once again be in position to be one of the United States' top offensive performers. Capable of playing any forward position, his skating ability will be a strong asset on the larger ice surface.

Player, Team - Paul Stastny (right), Avalanche
Height, Weight - 6-foot-1, 205 pounds
Statistics - 37 games, 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists)
Report - A member of the 2010 team in Vancouver, Stastny is a creative playmaker with a solid two-way game. He has had a solid but hardly impressive season. With a better crew of bottom-six centers than top six centers, Stastny seems set to have a starring role on this roster.

Player, Team - Derek Stepan, Rangers
Height, Weight - 6-foot-1, 196 pounds
Statistics - 41 games, 25 points (7 goals, 25 assists)
Report - A creative, two-way player, Stepan probably  merited a little more consideration for this roster due to the lack of top-six centers. Injuries notwithstanding, he may be a healthy scratch for most of this tournament.

Player, Team - James van Riemsdyk, Maple Leafs
Height, Weight - 6-foot-3, 200 pounds
Statistics - 39 games, 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists)
Report - Since joining the Maple Leafs last season, van Riemsyk has developed into one of the games' best power forwards. As talented of a net-front presence there is in the NHL, van Riemsdyk is a strong passer in tight spaces. Adept at using his reach around the cage, he will give opposing defensemen fits near the net.

Player, Team - Blake Wheeler, Jets
Height, Weight - 6-foot-5, 205 pounds
Statistics - 42 games, 31 points (15 goals, 16 assists)
Report - Probably the biggest surprise for this roster, Wheeler's value over the likes of Bobby Ryan and Kyle Okposo is that he's a little more versatile than either of those players. Capable of playing either wing, he is a strong skater for player of his size.


Player, Team - John Carlson (right), Capitals
Height, Weight - 6-foot-3, 212 pounds
Statistics - 40 games, 15 points (seven goals, eight assists)
Report - A player with a history of success in international tournaments, Carlson has developed into a top-four defensemen at the NHL level. He has a nice blend of mobility with impressive size. He will see significant minutes for the United States.

Player, Team - Justin Faulk, Hurricanes
Height, Weight - 6-foot-0, 215 pounds
Statistics - 40 games, 16 points (three goals, 13 assists).
Report - An under-the-radar pick, Faulk has developed into a solid all-around player who routinely draws assignments against opposing team's top forwards. He usually sees plenty of minutes against Sidney Crosby in any Penguins-Hurricanes games. He has a fair amount of skating ability for a player with decent size.

Player, Team - Cam Fowler, Ducks
Height, Weight - 6-foot-1, 196 pounds
Statistics - 42 games, 25 points (four goals, 21 assists)
Report - A waterbug of a puck-moving defenseman, Fowler's game is suited for the larger ice surface. He seems poised to have a significant role on this team's power play. While not irresponsible defensively, he's not going to be confused with any shutdown defenders such as Carlson or Ryan Suter.

Player, Team - Paul Martin (right), Penguins
Height, Weight - 6-foot-1, 200 pounds
Statistics - 23 games, 11 points (two goals, 11 assists)
Report - Teamed with Brooks Orpik, Mart is part of the Penguins' top shutdown defensive pairing. Martin and Orpik routinely draw assignments against the likes of Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos in NHL games. They'll probably do the same in Sochi. A leg injury has limited Martin to 23 games this season but when healthy, he has a subtle but effective all-around game. His skating ability will he an asset on the larger rinks.

Player, Team - Ryan McDonagh, Rangers
Height, Weight - 6-foot-1, 213 pounds
Statistics - 41 games, 23 points (six goals, 17 assists)
Report - Another minute-eating shutdown defender, McDonagh usually draws assignments against team's top opposing forwards. McDonagh's power-play abilities are limited so don't expect to see him command top four minutes in this tournament.

Player, Team - Brooks Orpik, Penguins
Height, Weight - 6-foot-2, 219 pounds
Statistics - 34 games, eight points (one goal, seven assists)
Report - The team's second oldest player (33) after Ryan Miller, Orpik figures to be teamed with Martin in this tournament as a shutdown pairing capable of taking on any opponent's top line. Arguably this team's most physical defenseman, it will be interesting to see how Orpik's game adapts to the larger ice surface. A head injury has limited him this season.

Player, Team - Kevin Shattenkirk, Blues
Height, Weight - 5-foot-11, 207 pounds
Statistics - 38 games, 28 points (six goals, 22 assists)
Report - A talented and mobile puck mover, Shattenkirk has developed his defensive game in St. Louis under the tutelage of head coach Ken Hitchcock. While hardly a shutdown defender, he is more than responsible in his own zone. While not physical, his skating ability will flourish on the larger ice

Player, Team - Ryan Suter, Wild
Height, Weight - 6-foot-1, 198 pounds
Statistics - 42 games, 24 points (two goals, 22 assists)
Report - There are big-minute defensemen then there is Ryan Suter. Used in virtually every situation on the ice, Suter leads the NHL average time on ice with an astounding 29:42. One could argue no one will be more valuable to the United States in these games than Suter.


Player, Team - Jimmy Howard (right), Red Wings
Height, Weight - 6-foot-0, 218 pounds
Statistics - 22 games, 6-9-7 record, 2.76 goals against average, .906 save percentage and two shutouts
Report - Howard's selection for this team is a bit of a head scratcher. Primarily due to injuries, he has struggled this season. At age 29, he figures to be the No. 3 goaltender in this tournament. One would assume that role would be better used on the likes of Tampa Bay's Ben Bishop who has performed better than Howard this season and at the age of 27, seems to have more of a future with the national team.

Player, Team - Ryan Miller, Sabres
Height, Weight - 6-foot-2, 175 pounds
Statistics - 28 games, 10-17-1 record, 2.69 goals against average, .927 save percentage, zero shutouts.
Report - Arguably the league's best player on a bad team, Miller has been excellent despite being marooned on a rotten Sabres squad. Seemingly out of the picture for the Olympics in 2014 after a poor 2012-13 season, he has more than earned this roster spot. He was the United States' most valuable player at the 2010 Game in Vancouver.

Player, Team - Jonathan Quick, Kings
Height, Weight - 6-foot-2, 175 pounds
Statistics - 16 games, 10-5-0 recod, 2.35 goals against average, .905 save percentage, 1 shutout.
Report - At the 2010 Games, Quick served as the No. 3 goaltender. Since then, he has developed into one of the league's top big-game goaltenders. The Conn Smythe Trophy winner during the Kings' 2012 Stanley Cup run, Quick figures to compete with Miller for the United States' No. 1 job. A groin injury has sidelined him since late November so it remains to be seen how he perform heading into Sochi.

Notable omissions

Ben Bishop, goaltender, Lightning - As mentioned above, Bishop has outplayed Howard and figures to have more of a future with the national team.
Alex Galchenyuk, forward, Canadiens - A young, exciting playermaker who has drawn high praise from Dan Bylsma, Galchenkyuk's youth (19) worked against him here. He will be a big part of the national team down the road.
Jack Johnson, defenseman, Blue Jackets - While Johnson's numbers (40 games, two goals, nine assists, 11 points) have been underwhelming, one could argue he has a better all-around game than the likes of Fowler or Orpik.
Kyle Okposo (right), forward, Islanders - A power forward who has taken a significant step forward this season, Okposo has some impressive numbers this season (41 games, 15 goals, 25 assists 40 points). Okposo's game is better suited for North American rinks however.
Bobby Ryan, forward, Senators - One of the game's better power forwards, Ryan's game is somewhat limited to the offensive zone. With a bloated pool of two-way wingers, Ryan wasn't going to crack this roster as a bottom-six winger.
Brandon Saad forward, Blackhawks - Like Galchenyuk, Saad's youth (21) worked against him. Also like Galchenyuk, Saad will be a big part of the national team in the future.
Keith Yandle, defenseman, Coyotes - Probably the most questionable omission, Yandle arguably has the best offensive game of any American defenseman. As revealed by ESPN's Scott Burnside, management has concerns about his limited ability to only play the left side.

(Photos: Orpik-Cameron Spencer/Getty Images; Brown-Paul Bereswill/Getty Images; Kessel and Martin-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Stastny-Cooper Neill/Getty Images; Carlson-Patrick McDermott/Getty Images; Howard-Gregory Shamus/Getty Images; Okposo-Harry How/Getty Images)

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