COLUMBUS, OHIO --- Columbus Blue Jackets Assistant General Manager Bill Zito has been named general manager of the 2018 United States Men's National Team, USA Hockey and the Blue Jackets announced today. Zito will oversee the selection of players that will represent the United States when it begins play at the 2018 IIHF Men's World Championship on May 4 against Canada in Herning, Denmark.
"This is a great privilege and I am grateful to USA Hockey for the opportunity and look forward to working with the Advisory Group and having a successful tournament," said Zito. "I'd like to thank John Davidson, Jarmo Kekalainen and the Blue Jackets for their support and allowing me to work with USA Hockey at a time when our club is in a tight playoff race that will hopefully extend our season deep into the spring."
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Zito previously served on the management staff for the 2015 U.S. Men's National Team that captured a bronze medal at the 2015 IIHF Men's World Championship in Ostrava and Prague, Czech Republic.
"We're excited to have Bill as the GM of our men's national team," said Pat Kelleher, Executive Director of USA Hockey. "With his varied experience, passion and knowledge of our player pool, we know he'll do a terrific job in leading efforts in putting this team together."
Supporting Zito in the player selection process will be the U.S. Men's National Team Advisory Group, a collection of NHL general managers that includes Stan Bowman (Chicago Blackhawks), David Poile (Nashville Predators), Ray Shero (New Jersey Devils), Dale Tallon (Florida Panthers), and Jeff Gorton (New York Rangers). Gorton is a new addition to the group this year.
Zito joined the Blue Jackets as assistant general manager in August 2013 and also serves as the general manager of the Cleveland Monsters, the club's American Hockey League affiliate. Since his arrival, Zito has helped the Blue Jackets to a pair of Stanley Cup Playoff berths and led Cleveland to the first Calder Cup championship in franchise history in 2015-16.
Prior to joining the Blue Jackets organization, Zito spent two decades building Acme World Sports into one of the top hockey agencies in the world by uncovering late-round or undrafted, lesser-known players, as well as the top picks. As the agency's founder and president, his list of clients included: John Madden, Brian Rafalski, Tuuka Rask, Kimmo Timonen, 2013 Vezina Trophy finalist Antti Niemi and former Vezina Trophy and Conn Smythe Award winner Tim Thomas.
Zito is a graduate of Yale University, where he played varsity hockey from 1984-87. He then attended law school at the University of Wisconsin and during that time served as an assistant coach for the Badgers hockey team and was a radio color commentator for Badger hockey. Upon earning his law degree, he went on to practice at major firms in New York and Chicago before founding Acme World Sports, LLC, in 1995.