Cates among 9 Minnesotans named to U.S. Olympic men’s hockey roster

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Nine players with ties to Minnesota high schools or colleges will play in Beijing as part of the United States Ice Hockey team, per Twin Cities affiliate KSTP’s report Thursday night.

The official announcement came from USA Hockey Thursday afternoon.

Seven of the nine are Minnesota natives, the other two are collegiate transplants.

Among the current college players is University of Minnesota Duluth’s, and Stillwater native, Noah Cates, three Minnesota Gophers, two St Cloud State Huskies and one from Minnesota State.

In all, the roster includes fifteen current college hockey playersalong with ten players currently in either domestic minor league hockey or overseas professional leagues.

National Hockey League players were initially intended to populate the rosters for the 2022 Winter Olympics, but the National Hockey League and its Players Associated mutually agreed pandemic conditions have made NHL pros heading to Beijing a logistical and logical impossibility.

The nine with Minnesota ties are:

  • F Noah Cates – UMD / Stillwater
  • F Sam Hetges – SCSU / New Brighton, Totino-Grace
  • F Matthew Knies – Gophers
  • F Ben Meyers – Gophers / Delano
  • F Nathan Smith – MSU-Mankato
  • D Brock Faber – Gophers / Maple Grove
  • D Drew Helleson – Farmington, Shattuck-St Mary’s
  • D Aaron Ness – Former Gophers / Roseau
  • D Nick Perbix – SCSU / Elk River

The full team is as follows:


Key: Player (College/Current team) – NHL rights if any (Minnesota hometown / high school)

Players in bold have Minnesota ties


  • Nick Abruzzese (Harvard University) – Toronto
  • Ken Agostino (Torpedo – KHL)
  • Matty Beniers (University of Michigan) – Seattle
  • Brendan Brisson (University of Michigan) – Vegas
  • Noah Cates (University of Minnesota-Duluth) – Philadelphia (Stillwater H.S.)
  • Sean Farrell (Harvard University) – Montreal
  • Sam Hentges (St. Cloud State University) – Minnesota (Totino-Grace H.S. / New Brighton)
  • Matthew Knies (University of Minnesota) – Toronto
  • Marc McLaughlin (Boston College) – Undrafted UFA
  • Ben Meyers (University of Minnesota) – Undrafted UFA (Delano H.S.)
  • Andy Miele (Torpedo – KHL)
  • Brian O’Neill (Jokerit – KHL)
  • Nick Shore (Novosibirsk – KHL)
  • Nathan Smith (Minnesota State University) – Winnipeg


  • Brian Cooper (IK Oskarshamn – SHL)
  • Brock Faber (University of Minnesota) – Los Angeles (Maple Grove H.S.)
  • Drew Helleson (Boston College) – Colorado (Farmington native / SSM)
  • Steven Kampfer (Ak Bars Kazan – KHL)
  • Aaron Ness (Fmr U of MN, Providence – AHL) (Roseau H.S.)
  • Nick Perbix (St. Cloud State University) – Tampa Bay (Elk River H.S.)
  • Jake Sanderson (University of North Dakota) – Ottawa
  • David Warsofsky (Ingolstadt – DEL)


  • Drew Commesso (Boston University) – Chicago
  • Strauss Mann (Skelleftea – SHL)
  • Pat Nagle (Lehigh Valley – AHL)

More information on the 2022 United States Olympic Ice Hockey Team from USA Hockey:

The 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team by the numbers:
• 25 players

a. 14 forwards (Nick Abruzzese, Kenny Agostino, Matty Beniers, Brendan Brisson, Noah Cates, Sean Farrell, Sam Hentges, Matthew Knies, Marc McLaughlin, Ben Meyers, Andy Miele, Brian O’Neill, Nick Shore, Nathan Smith)
b. 8 defensemen (Brian Cooper, Brock Faber, Drew Helleson, Steven Kampfer, Aaron Ness, Nick Perbix, Jake Sanderson, David Warsofsky)
c. 3 goaltenders (Drew Commesso, Strauss Mann, Pat Nagle)

• 15 Playing NCAA Hockey (Big 10-5/NCHC-4/HEA-3, ECAC Hockey-2, CCHA-1),

8 Playing Professionally in Europe (5-KHL, 2-SHL, 1-DEL)
2 Playing Professionally in AHL

• 1 Olympian (O’Neill)
• 6 with NHL experience (Agostino, Kampfer, Miele, Ness, Shore, Warsofsky)
• 13 states represented (Alaska-1, Arizona-1, California-1, Colorado-1, Connecticut-1, Florida-1, Massachusetts-5, Michigan-4, Minnesota-6, Montana-1, New Jersey-1, New York-1, Pennsylvania-1)
• 14 NCAA schools represented (Boston College-2, Boston University-2, Ferris State University-1, Harvard University-2, Miami University-1, Minnesota State University-1, St. Cloud State University-2, University of Denver-1, University of Michigan-4, University of Minnesota-4, University of Minnesota Duluth-1, University of North Dakota-1, University of Nebraska-Omaha-1, Yale University-2)
• 6-0 – average height
• 189 lbs – average weight
• 25.1 years – average age (youngest roster since 1994/22.4)

a. 19 years – youngest player, Matty Beniers (11/5/2002)
b. 34 years – oldest player, Pat Nagle (9/21/1987)

The 2022 Olympic Winter Games will take place Feb. 3-20 in Beijing, China. The U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team opens play on Feb. 10 when it faces host China in its first preliminary round game at 8:10 a.m. ET.

For more information on the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, including the full roster, click here.

NOTES: All 25 players on the U.S. roster have played college hockey in the U.S., including 15 currently playing in the NCAA … A total of 10 players have spent time with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, which is celebrating its 25th season on the ice in 2021-22 … The roster features 21 players who have competed in the USHL and one who played in the NAHL … Of the 25 players, 19 have worn a letter at either the high school, junior, collegiate or professional level … All 2022 U.S. Olympic Team nominations are subject to U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee approval … John Vanbiesbrouck is the general manager of the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, with Marc Boxer serving as assistant general manager … David Quinn is the head coach of the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, with assistant coaches Mike Hastings, Brett Larson, Scott Young, and David Lassonde and video coach Alex Dawes … Additional staff for the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team includes team leader Brij Singh; equipment managers Scott Aldrich and Nate LaPoint; athletic trainers Stan Wong, Jason Hodges and Chris Mizer; team physician Dr. Mike Stuart; and media officers Dave Fischer and Michael Reedy.