BOSTON AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — On January 1, USA Hockey announced their men’s hockey team for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver (February 16-28, 2010), and the Los Angeles Kings will have three players, right wing Dustin Brown, defenseman Jack Johnson and goaltender Jonathan Quick, on the team.
Johnson, 22, has never participated in the Olympics before, but has represented the United States in international competition several times.
At the 2009 World Championships, the 6-0, 218-pound native of Indianapolis, Indiana scored five goals and contributed two assists for seven points in nine games. His five goals led all defensemen in the tournament and tied for fifth overall while his seven points tied him for fourth most among defensemen in the tournament.
Johnson also competed in: the 2007 World Championships (7 GP, 1-1=1); the 2007 World Junior Championships (Bronze medal – 7 GP, 3-0=3); the 2006 World Junior Championships (7 GP, 1-5=6, as he was a tournament All-Star selection); the 2005 World Junior Under-18 Championships (Gold medal – 6 GP, 0-2=2, 35 PIM); the 2005 Five Nations Tournament (U.S. Under-18 Team) where he won a gold medal; the 2004 Compuware Four Nations Cup (U.S. Under-18 Team); the 2004 World Junior Under-18 Championships (Silver medal – 6 GP, 2-0=2, 18 PIM) and he also skated with Team USA at the 2004 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Johnson has scored four goals and has added sixteen assists for twenty points with 34 penalty minutes in forty games with the Kings this season.
“To get this news is an unbelievable feeling and a real dream come true,” said Johnson. “I have dreamed of this moment for a long time and being a US Olympian is a true honor.”
Of all the Kings players considered for Team USA, Johnson was the arguably the biggest surprise. But Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi, who is part of USA Hockey’s management team that evaluated and selected the team, said that the others on the management team all ranked Johnson in the top six among US defensemen.
“What’s good about it was that [Johnson] was eleventh on the depth chart at the beginning of the year,” said Lombardi. “By November, he had risen to the top eight, and in Jack’s case, he went from ten to eight, to seven.”
“Two weeks ago, at the [NHL] Board of Governors meeting, [we met] and I couldn’t promote my own guy, so the other guys would come in—it was out of my hands,” added Lombardi. “[Johnson] was in the top six on everybody’s ballot. I was really proud of him.”
Brown, 25, will play in his first Olympic Games. He has represented the United States at the 2009 World Championships when he scored three goals and added five assists for eight points in nine games. He was named one of Team USA’s Three Best Players as determined by tournament coaches and he served as one of Team USA’s captains (team captains rotated throughout the tournament).
The 6-0, 208-pound native of Ithaca, New York has also played for the United States at the 2008 World Championships (7 GP, 5-4=9, finishing tied for second on the club in goals, third in points and tied for third in assists); the 2006 World Championships (7 GP, 5-2=7, where he led the club in goals and points) and the 2004 World Championships (Bronze medal – 9 GP, 1-3=4). He has also represented the U.S. at the 2003 World Junior Championships (7 GP, 2-2=4, as he was the youngest member of the team) and at the 2002 World Junior Championships (7 GP, 1-3=4).
This season, Brown has scored nine goals and has added nineteen assists for 28 points with fourteen penalty minutes in 41 games. His 19 assists lead the team and his 28 points rank second. His 143 hits leads the Kings and ranks third in the National Hockey League.
“This could be a once-in-a-lifetime shot and any time you get the chance to play in the Olympics and to represent your country it is a huge honor,” said Brown. ”I got the call this morning and needless to say it is a dream come true and an experience I am really looking forward to.”
Quick, 23, who is one of three goaltenders selected for the club, has never participated in the Olympics before. He has also never played for Team USA in international competition.
The 6-1, 223-pound native of Milford, Connecticut has a 21-13-3 record this season, with a 2.62 goals-against average (GAA) and a .904 save percentage. Among NHL goaltenders, he is tied for fifth in wins; tied for first in games played; ninth in saves (910) and tied first in shootout wins (five).
Last season, Quick ranked third among NHL rookie goaltenders with 21 wins while earning a 2.48 GAA, .914 save percentage and four shutouts in 44 games with the Kings. His 21 wins were the third most ever by a Kings rookie goaltender and his four shutouts tied a Kings rookie season record. He was also 4-1 in shootouts (10-for-14, 71 percent).
Quick was selected by the Kings in the third round (72nd overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. In 84 career regular season games, Quick has a 44-33-5 record, a 2.58 GAA, a .908 save percentage and four shutouts.
“It is real exciting as it is something you dream about growing up,” said Quick. ”It is such a unique opportunity as you play with the best from your country against the best in the world. I am looking forward to it but I still have a job to do over the next six months so I will be taking things one day at a time.”
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