Things are pretty bleak in Flyers Land right now, you don’t need us to tell you that. We’re looking for just about any good news we can find around here right now, and we’re here to deliver a bit of it.
Times are strange, and while it’s a bit of a bummer that NHL players, or even any AHL players on an NHL contract, won’t be allowed to go to the Olympics next month, it’s opened up the door for the national teams to get a little more creative in how they’re constructing their rosters, and give some players a chance to compete on this stage who might not otherwise have it.
And as far as USA Hockey is concerned, they’ve gone quite young for their roster and pulled heavily from the NCAA. The Flyers will see themselves represented there (in a way) as their 2017 fifth round pick Noah Cates has been named to the US roster. This won’t be the first time Cates has represented the US on the international stage—he played on the 2019 World Junior team, where he scored three points in seven games and performed very well in an energy role—but this is a whole other animal, and a really exciting opportunity.
Cates is in his senior year at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he’s having a quietly quite solid season, as he’s put up six goals and 14 points in 20 games. The scoring totals don’t jump off the page exactly, but Cates has always been a really solid details player, and that’s all continuing to work very well for him with UMD, and that will be a big asset to this US team as well.
The Olympics open on February 4, and the complete roster for the US team is below.
Some other standouts?
Former Michigan Wolverine goalie Strauss Mann, who’s off to a stellar start to his professional career in the SHL, where he’s put up a .930 save percentage and 1.77 GAA in 13 games played.
2021 World Junior gold medalists Matty Beniers, Brendan Brisson, Brock Faber, Drew Helleson, and Jake Sanderson.
And hey, current Phantoms goalie Pat Nagle and former Phantoms legend Andy Miele!
Should be fun.