DENVER - Colorado Avalanche defenseman John-Michael Liles was named to the USA Olympic squad that will compete at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. The official Olympic team unveiling came Monday evening prior to the Minnesota-Dallas game carried live on the Outdoor Life Network.
Liles, 25, is making his first appearance on the USA Olympic Roster, after having represented Team USA with the U.S. National Junior squad in 2000, with the U.S. World Cup team in 2004 and the U.S. World Championship squad last spring. Liles was also a member of the U.S. National Development Teams in 1997-98 (U-17) and 1998-99 (U-18).
Liles is coming off a rookie season in 2003-04 which saw him garner NHL All-Rookie honors. He led all rookie defensemen in points (34) and goals (10) and set the franchise mark for goals by a rookie defenseman. Thus far in 2005, he's tallied eight goals and 16 assists, tops among Avalanche defensemen in both categories.
Liles will join his Olympic squad teammates when the NHL breaks for the Olympics February 13-26. The U.S. squad will open Olympic competition on February 15 vs. Latvia (1 pm MST).
Click here for U.S. Roster