Justin Abdelkader among Michigan contingent on U.S. national hockey team
Justin Abdelkader, who played 13 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, is one of four players hailing from the state of Michigan who will play for the U.S. men's national hockey team in 2021.
The roster was announced Thursday, ahead of the team competing in the 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship May 21-June 6 in Riga, Latvia.
Abdelkader, a forward from Muskegon who also starred at Michigan State, is joined on the team by defensemen Matt Roy (Detroit) and Christian Wolanin (Rochester), and forward Jason Robertson (Northville).
Also on the team is Matt Beniers, a University of Michigan standout who should be one of the top players selected in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft, and defenseman Matt Tennyson, who played collegiately at Western Michigan. At 18 years old, Beniers is the youngest player on the roster.
"We’re excited with the roster we have and look forward to the world championship," Chris Drury, general manager of the national team, said in a statement. "It’s a unique year and we appreciate the dedication and commitment of everyone. We really like our team and our goal, like every other team our country puts on the ice, is to bring home a gold medal."
Abdelkader, 34, is making his third trip to the world championships for the U.S. team, following appearances in 2012 and 2014, the latter of which he served as team captain.
In his second season with the Dallas Stars, Robertson had 45 points (17 goals) in 51 games.
Roy finished his third season with the Los Angeles Kings. Wolanin played 18 games in the NHL last season between the Ottawa Senators and the Kings.
The U.S. team opens the tournament May 22 against Finland.
The Canadian team was also announced on Thursday with Red Wings defenseman Troy Stecher on the roster with University of Michigan defenseman Owen Power.
Saginaw center Cole Perfetti is one of 14 forwards on the Canadian team.
U.S. men's national team roster
► Jake Oettinger (Lakeville, Minnesota)
► Cal Petersen (Waterloo, Iowa)
► Anthony Stolarz (Edison, New Jersey)
► Adam Clendening (Niagara Falls, New York)
► Matt Hellickson (Rogers, Minnesota)
► Zac Jones (Glen Allen, Virginia)
► Connor Mackey (Tower Lakes, Illinois)
► Matt Roy (Detroit/Michigan Tech)
► Ryan Shea (Milton, Massachusetts)
► Matt Tennyson (Pleaston, California/Western Michigan)
► Chris Wideman (St. Louis)
► Christian Wolanin (Rochester)
► Justin Abdelkader (Muskegon/Michigan State)
► Matt Beniers (Hingham, Massachusetts/Michigan)
► Colin Blackwell (Lawrence, Massachusetts)
► Brian Boyle (Hingham, Massachusetts)
► Sasha Chmelevski (Huntington Beach, California)
► Ryan Donato (Scituate, Massachusetts)
► Jack Drury (Winnetka, Illinois)
► Conor Garland (Scituate, Massachusetts)
► Kevin Labanc (Staten Island, New York)
► Trevor Moore (Thousand Oaks, California)
► Jason Robertson (Northville)
► Eric Robinson (Bellmawr, New Jersey)
► Kevin Rooney (Canton, Massachusetts)
► Tage Thompson (Orange, Connecticut)