The U.S. Men’s Hockey Team will have several deadly weapons on the offensive side of the puck and while Paul Stastny doesn’t generate the kind of attention that guys like Zach Parise and Patrick Kane do, he has the potential to be one of the biggest performers for the team in the upcoming Winter Olympics.
A 2005 Draft second-round pick that has spent his entire career with the Colorado Avalanche organization, Stastny worked his way through the ranks of the team and managed to make the NHL team quickly, making his debut in the 2006-07 season. In that season, he played the full 82-game schedule and finished with 78 points, while also setting a record with 20 consecutive games scoring at least one point.
His strong debut in the NHL opened the doors of the U.S. National Team, as he has played in three World Cups and one Olympic tournament, notching 35 points in 31 games and confirming his style of play is well-suited for the international stage.
Stastny has grown all the way to become an alternate captain and one of the leaders both on and off the ice for the Avalanche. His leadership skills are well known throughout the league and while he might not be as talented as some of the other forwards on the roster, it’s undeniable that he will add a veteran presence despite the fact that he’s only 28 years old.
The U.S. will likely place Stastny in one of the checking lines, as he’s better suited to be a two-way center in an open ice like the one that will be at Sochi, but he will definitely be one of the biggest threats of the team. He’s capable of getting to the boards, creating offense, and he can even finish the plays by himself thanks to a great touch in front of the net.
He might not see a lot of playing time, but when Sochi starts, look for Stastny to make an immediate impact as soon as he steps on the ice. He has all the tools to be one of the star players for the U.S. Men’s Hockey Team.