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USA Hockey can draw from deeper talent pool ahead of Sochi

Jonathan Quick will likely be the favorite to start for the U.S. in Sochi, but he will have stiff competition. [Gregory Shaums/Getty Images]Jonathan Quick will likely be the favorite to start for the U.S. in Sochi, but he'll have stiff competition. [Getty Images]

By Allan Muir

Now that an agreement has been reached to send the NHL's top players to the 2014 Winter Olympics, it's only a matter of time before USA Hockey finalizes plans for its orientation camp.

Back in August, 2009, 34 players spent three days in Woodridge, Ill., ahead of the 2010 Vancouver Games. Three goalies, 12 defensemen and 19 forwards attended in hopes of making the cut in December.

It's a testament to the deepening American talent pool that this year's camp, running from Aug. 25-29 at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington County, Virginia, could be a little more crowded and the competition for spots considerably more fierce.

Here are the players we think will get the call:

Goaltenders

John Gibson (Anaheim Ducks); Jimmy Howard (Detroit Red Wings); Ryan Miller (Buffalo Sabres); Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles Kings), Tim Thomas (free agent); Craig Anderson (Ottawa Senators)

Defense

Zach Bogosian (Winnipeg Jets); Dustin Byfuglien (Winnipeg Jets); John Carlson (Washington Capitals); Justin Faulk (Carolina Hurricanes); Jake Gardiner (Toronto Maple Leafs); Erik Johnson (Colorado Avalanche); Jack Johnson (Columbus Blue Jackets); Torey Krug (Boston Bruins); Paul Martin (Pittsburgh Penguins); Ryan McDonagh (New York Rangers); Brooks Orpik (Pittsburgh Penguins); Kevin Shattenkirk (St. Louis Blues); Ryan Suter (Minnesota Wild); Keith Yandle (Arizona Coyotes)

Forwards

David Backes (St. Louis Blues); Nick Bjugstad (Florida Panthers); Dustin Brown (Los Angeles Kings); Ryan Callahan (New York Rangers); Brandon Dubinsky (Columbus Blue Jackets); Alex Galchenyuk (Montreal Canadiens); Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks); Ryan Kesler (Vancouver Canucks); Phil Kessel (Toronto Maple Leafs); David Moss (Arizona Coyotes); T.J. Oshie (St. Louis Blues); Derek Stepan (New York Rangers); Max Pacioretty (Montreal Canadiens); Zach Parise (Minnesota Wild); Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks); Jason Pominville (Minnesota Wild); Bobby Ryan (Ottawa Senators); Brandon Saad (Chicago Blackhawks); Craig Smith (Nashville Predators); Paul Stastny (Colorado Avalanche); R.J. Umberger (Columbus Blue Jackets); James van Riemsdyk (Toronto Maple Leafs); Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg Jets)

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