USA Hockey has named its first slate of players for this spring's IIHF World Championship in Belarus, and since that tournament is (mostly) made of players whose NHL teams didn't make or are quickly eliminated from the playoffs, the New York Islanders are well represented with two homegrown youngsters.
Brock Nelson and Matt Donovan are on the initial list of 15 players, joining a group of other young players mostly made up of recent NCAA products, plus one KHLer (Vince Trochek) and one player currently in the Swiss NLA (Peter Mueller).
Nelson continues a tradition of representing the U.S. in international hockey in his extended family, while Donovan will get the opportunity to tell Belarusians where Oklahoma is.
Previous years have seen Kyle Okposo also represent Team USA -- not at the Olympics though because Olympic ice, right? -- but Okposo finished this season on the injured list with a lower body injury he said was not playable at present even if the Isles were in the playoffs.
Of course more names are to come before the U.S. begins play in the 16-team tournament on May 9, but now you know the hockey season isn't over just yet for at least two young Islanders.
How the Roster is Selected
According to USA Hockey:
The staff and players of the 2014 U.S. Men's National Team are selected by the U.S. Men's National Team Advisory Group, led by Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey. Other members, all affiliated with National Hockey League teams, include Stan Bowman (Chicago), Brian Burke (Calgary), Paul Holmgren (Philadelphia), Dean Lombardi (Los Angeles), David Poile (Nashville), Ray Shero (Pittsburgh), Dale Tallon (Florida), and Don Waddell (Pittsburgh). Tom Kurvers (Tampa Bay) will be part of the advisory group for this year's championship.
(Not sure who is in charge of ensuring players can play on big ice though.)