Breaking down the 2022 United States Olympic roster
Collegiate, professional, and international journeywomen make up the 2022 American Olympic squad.
USA Hockey announced its official 23-player roster at the NHL’s Winter Classic on Saturday, further heralding the rapid approach of the 2022 Winter Olympics. While the roster wasn’t too big of a secret considering the federation’s announcement of the final roster cuts on December 15, now that everything is official we can finally break down everything you need to know about the players who will don the red, white, and blue in Beijing.
It’s no secret that Hilary Knight is both the oldest and most seasoned veteran on this roster. At 32, Knight will be appearing in her fourth Olympics when she takes the ice in Beijing, joining an elite group of just 17 players throughout the world to compete in four Olympic tournaments. She’ll be just the fourth American to do so, joining the company of Jenny Potter, Angela Ruggiero, and Julie Chu.
The majority of the team is made up of familiar faces, with only 34.8% of the squad (or 8 players) making their Olympic debuts in 2022. Each of those players making their Olympic debuts competed, at the very least, for the U.S. at the 2021 World Championship, so no one will be too fresh-faced heading into Beijing.
Megan Bozek and Alex Carpenter, both of whom were among the final cuts before the 2018 Olympics, are the only two players to compete at their second Olympics in Beijing that didn’t compete in PyeongChang. The two made their Olympic debuts in Sochi in 2014 and came back to the States with silver medals around their necks.
An overwhelming majority (62.5% or 14 players) of the players selected to compete for the USA at this year’s Olympics played in the WCHA during their collegiate careers — and that number grows even higher when you consider Caroline Harvey, the only pre-college player on the squad, will be joining the Wisconsin Badgers next season.
Hockey East is next up, with a quarter (25% or 6 players) of the players on the roster representing. Of those who attended a Hockey East institution, three played at Boston College (Cayla Barnes, Megan Keller, and Alex Carpenter).
The lone player from the CHA is goaltender Nicole Hensley, who played four seasons at Lindenwood University before returning to the school for three seasons as an assistant coach between 2016 and 2020. Meanwhile, the lone former ECACer is Savannah Harmon, who won two national championships with Clarkson and made her Team USA debut at the 2021 World Championship.
Total Experience (Collegiate, International, and Professional)
This one’s mostly for fun.
Of the 23 players on the roster, only five haven’t medaled at the U18 Women’s World Championship: Harmon, Hensley, Knight, Hayley Scamurra, and Lee Stecklein. Knight likely would have been the linchpin of her own U18 era — if the tournament existed when she was eligible. Between those that have medaled for the Americans at the U18 level, only Cayla Barnes has a perfect three straight gold medals. Grace Zumwinkle, Jesse Compher, Abbey Murphy, and Harvey all have two.
There are 22 total NCAA titles between the players on the USA’s roster, with Hannah Brandt, Amanda Kessel, and Stecklein leading the way with three each. Naturally, since Minnesota and Wisconsin are the alma maters of so many players, there are a handful of others with one or two national championships under the belt. Harmon is the most interesting to me, though — her two titles come from Clarkson’s back-to-back wins in 2017 and 2018.
It’s no surprise that each player has a World Championship medal (gold or silver), with Knight, Brianna Decker, and Kendall Coyne Schofield leading the way with eight, six, and six World Championship titles respectively. Like we mentioned earlier, every player that’s rostered for the Olympics competed at the 2021 Worlds tournament, so everyone has, at least, a silver medal.
Most interestingly, there are 12 professional championship wins between all 23 players. No surprise that Knight leads the way again, tied for the lead with Decker and Bozek, each with two. Interestingly, each of the players with two professional championships under their belt won their titles in two different leagues — both the NWHL and either the CWHL or ZhHL.
There’s a whole load of experience, from collegiate to international to professional, on Team USA. Will all that experience be enough to bring home their third Olympic gold?
We’ll find out in February.
All data courtesy of EliteProspects and the author’s own calculations.