ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson will represent Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Team USA announced the team’s 25-man roster today following the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on NBC.
Carlson, 23, will be making his first Olympic appearance. The 6’3”, 212-pound defenseman from Natick, Massachusetts, ranks tied for fifth among NHL defensemen in goals this season (7), first among Washington skaters in blocked shots (83) and average ice time (24:41) and second on the team in shots (107). In the last two seasons, Carlson ranks third in goals (13) among NHL defensemen born in the United States, trailing only Keith Yandle (16) and Dustin Byfluglien (15). In 274 career NHL games with Washington, Carlson has tallied 112 points (30 goals, 82 assists) and a plus-26 rating.
Carlson led the Hershey Bears, the Capitals’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, to the Calder Cup championship in 2010, collecting seven points (two goals, five assists) in 13 playoff games. Carlson scored the cup-clinching goal in Game 6 of the 2010 Calder Cup finals against the Texas Stars. That same year, Carlson scored the overtime, game-winning goal to help the United States win the gold medal at the 2010 World Junior Championship (WJC) against Canada. He posted three goals and four assists in seven tournament games as an alternate captain and was named to the WJC All-Star Team. In addition, Carlson helped Hershey win the 2009 Calder Cup championship, collecting three points (one goal, two assists) in 16 playoff games.
Carlson was originally drafted by Washington in the first round, 27th overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Several additional Capitals players are candidates to represent their respective countries, with announcements scheduled between now and Jan. 7.