With each passing season, John Carlson continues to establish himself as one of the top defensemen in the NHL. As Team USA prepares for the World Cup of Hockey, it's clear the team intends to take advantage of his skills.
According to the defensive pairings the team practiced with on Tuesday, Carlson skated on the top pair along side Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers.
(Note: John Carlson is 4, Matt Niskanen 2, T.J. Oshie 74)
Fellow Cap Matt Niskanen skated on the third pairing with both Jack Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Erik Johnson of the Colorado Avalanche. USA carries seven defensemen on the roster and it appears one of those three will be an extra for the tournament. As Jack Johnson is the only one of the three who shoots left, his spot as left defenseman on the third pair is likely set. That would leave either Niskanen or Erik Johnson as the likely No. 7.
On offense, T.J. Oshie skated on the right wing on the third line with Justin Abdelkader of the Detroit Red Wings and Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks.