Winnipeg Jets' forward Blake Wheeler selected to USA Hockey Olympic roster

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

USA Hockey named their rosters at the conclusion of today's Winter Classic. Winnipeg Jets' forward Blake Wheeler will be among those selected to represent their country at Sochi 2014.

It never phased me for a minute that Blake Wheeler would be named to USA Hockey's roster for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

And that, my friends, is because General Manager David Poile is a very astute manager of talent.

The Winnipeg Jets' forward has been among the highest scoring American forwards in each of the last three years, registering 136 points in 170 games since the 2011-12 season. His career average .635 points per game rank him eleventh of all active American born scorers, higher than teammates David Backes, Dustin Brown, Max Pacioretty and James van Riemsdyk.

At the conclusion of today's NHL Winter Classic, a rousing game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings that ended on a Tyler Bozak shootout winner, the entire USA roster was announced. Here it is, in all its glory:

Goalies Hometown NHL Club
Jimmy Howard Syracuse, N.Y. Detroit Red Wings
Ryan Miller East Lansing, Mich. Buffalo Sabres
Jonathan Quick Milford, Conn. Los Angeles Kings
Defensemen Hometown NHL Club
John Carlson Colonia, N.J. Washington Capitals
Justin Faulk South St. Paul, Minn. Carolina Hurricanes
Cam Fowler Farmington Hills, Mich. Anaheim Ducks
Paul Martin Minneapolis, Minn. Pittsburgh Penguins
Ryan McDonagh St. Paul, Minn. New York Rangers
Brooks Orpik San Francisco, Calif. Pittsburgh Penguins
Kevin Shattenkirk New Rochelle, N.Y. St. Louis Blues
Ryan Suter Madison, Wis. Minnesota Wild
Forwards Hometown NHL Club
David Backes Minneapolis, Minn. St. Louis Blues
Dustin Brown Ithaca, N.Y. Los Angeles Kings
Ryan Callahan Rochester, N.Y. New York Rangers
Patrick Kane Buffalo, N.Y. Chicago Blackhawks
Ryan Kesler Livonia, Mich. Vancouver Canucks
Phil Kessel Madison, Wis. Toronto Maple Leafs
T.J. Oshie Warroad, Minn. St. Louis Blues
Max Pacioretty New Canaan, Conn. Montreal Canadiens
Zach Parise Minneapolis, Minn. Minnesota Wild
Joe Pavelski Plover, Wis. San Jose Sharks
Paul Stastny St. Louis, Mo. Colorado Avalanche
Derek Stepan Hastings, Minn. New York Rangers
James van Riemsdyk Middletown, N.J. Toronto Maple Leafs
Blake Wheeler Robbinsdale, Minn. Winnipeg Jets

The 6'5" power forward from Robbinsdale, Minnesota edged out bubble players such as Bobby Ryan, Kyle Okposo, Jason Pominville and Brandon Dubinsky for the right to represent his country at this years Olympic Games.

Wheeler's inclusion is a monumental one for fans of the Jets' who get to see one of their own on hockey's grandest stage. Sorry, Ondrej Pavelec but being named the starter of the Czech Republic national team is like being the richest person at the homeless shelter since the retirement of Dominik Hasek.

On a more dour note, defenceman Dustin Byfuglien was not among those selected by David Poile, something we will tackle in another article.

Under the direction of Dan Bylsma, USA Hockey will start their quest towards Olympic gold Thursday, February 13, 2014 against the Slovaks.

Tell us your thoughts on Blake Wheeler being named a 2014 Olympian.

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