Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler
was named to Team USA’s Olympic squad today, becoming the fourth Ducks player selected to Team USA since the NHL’s participation in the Olympics began in 1998 (Guy Hebert, Bobby Ryan and Ryan Whitney are the others). Fowler (22 years old) is the fourth youngest player to be named to the U.S. Olympic Team since 1998, older than only Erik Johnson (21, 2010), Patrick Kane (21, 2010) and Bryan Berard (21, 1998).
Fowler will make his fifth career appearance for Team USA in international competition and his first on the Olympic stage. He won gold at the 2010 World Junior Championship and 2009 U-18 World Championship, and also represented the U.S. at the 2012 World Championship in Finland and Sweden, and the 2011 World Championship in Slovakia. Fowler also played two seasons in Ann Arbor with the U.S. National Training Development Program, recording 8-32=40 points with 44 PIM in 55 games with the U-18 team in 2008-09.
Selected by Anaheim in the first round (12th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Fowler is in his fourth season with the Ducks. He has appeared in 42 games for Anaheim this season, scoring 4-21=25 points with a +10 rating and eight penalty minutes (PIM). Fowler leads Anaheim defensemen and is 10th among NHL blueliners in scoring, and also paces the Ducks overall in blocked shots (81) and average time-on-ice (23:59). He has appeared in 237 career NHL games with Anaheim, scoring 20-85=105 points with 50 PIM.
Fowler held a conference call shortly after being named to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team.
On his thoughts in anticipation to the roster unveiling
"I was trying to be as calm and collected as I could, but I was pretty nervous. My heart was beating. I had a lot of adrenaline going. I was pretty nervous. But once my name was called, it was pure joy. I’m so happy. I’m still smiling. I can’t stop. What a great honor and a very proud moment for me. I’m just very excited right now."
On how he found out he was named to the roster
"I found out on TV just like everybody else. I didn’t get a text or a phone call. The first time I found out I was going to be an Olympian was when I saw the little kid with my jersey on, on TV. That’s when I knew."
On if he got any phone calls after being selected
"I got a call from Brian Burke [Director of Player Personnel, 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team], congratulating me. I’ve had a few emails from the Olympic committee, so they’ve certainly been in touch with me since then."
On the Olympics being on his radar
"Getting invited to the camp in the summer was good for me. It was good to have that experience and some face time with some of the guys, the committee and everything. That was cool for me to do. It’s always been a dream of mine. If you ask any athlete to get to represent his country at the Olympics, there’s no better honor in the world. With how my play has been this year, and how the team has been doing, and the success we’ve been having, it started to get a little more real for me. When it came down to decision time, I knew I did everything I possibly could. I gave myself a good chance, and everything worked out. That was my mindset. I knew I had given it my all and put myself in a good position. Now, I’m lucky enough to make the team. I’m very, very excited."
On his ability to adapt and play in all situations
"That was the biggest thing. I talked to you guys about it, a lot. Just trying to complete my game and become the best overall player and defenseman I can be. I owe a lot of that to our coaching staff for believing in me, having the confidence in me, and putting me in those situations where I can succeed. I definitely owe a lot to them for that. And just everybody… my teammates, my coaches, just for helping me become better and continuing to work with me. I certainly think that’s a huge reason why I’m here today."
On having prior international experience
"That’s certainly an honor, too, to be able to play in those tournaments, even though not all the big names are there. You still get great experience on the big ice, and still play in meaningful games. You’re still representing your country. It’s all the same people with USA Hockey involved in the Olympics. To go over there a couple times, and play well, both times on the bigger ice surface, I’d like to think it helped me. I showed them I can play that style of game and adapt to the big ice over there."
On his impressions of Team USA’s roster
"I think it’s great. You’re talking about the best players in the world. I think we have a great mix of guys. We have maybe three to five captains of their NHL teams on our team. That’s always a good sign. It’s a good group of leaders and guys who have been there before, and young, fresh faces filling in. I think it’s a great group."
On possibly playing against teammates Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry
"I heard from those guys. I heard from basically everybody on the team congratulating me. That was nice. It’s going to be weird to play against those guys and see them on the other side of the ice, and try to defend them. I do it in practice a lot, too, so maybe I can take some of those tendencies and try and take them over to Sochi so I know what they’re doing. I’m sure those guys will be a part of Team Canada, and I’ll be happy for them. It’ll be different playing against those guys because it’s been nice having them on your own team.