USA Hockey announced the final two members of its roster for the Pyeongchang Olympic hockey tournament.
Goaltenders David Leggio, 33, of Williamsville, N.Y., and 26-year-old Brandon Maxwell of Winter Park, Fla., were added to the roster on Thursday. Both played for the U.S. recently in the Deutschland Cup tournament. The first goalie named, when the roster was initially released on Jan. 1, was Ryan Zapolski, who is playing for the Jokerit team in the KHL.
Leggio has spent the last three seasons in Germany, and Maxwell has been playing in the Czech Republic. They’re both experienced in playing on Olympic-sized ice sheets, which, are about 15 feet wider than NHL rinks.
“We’re excited with the depth,” U.S. coach Tony Granato said during a conference call with reporters. “They’re used to playing on the big sheet. … They fit into what we’re looking for to represent our country.”
The NHL is not halting its season to allow its players to represent their homelands, leaving the participating countries to fill their rosters with players on one-way American Hockey League contracts, college players and players who are playing in European leagues. The star power will be missing, but there will still be many interesting stories of players who waited many years for the chance to be an Olympian.
“I like the hunger. I like our team makeup,” team captain Brian Gionta, the only U.S. player with previous Olympic experience (in 2006) said during the conference call.