After the Winter Classic (which lived up to its name with snow flurries throughout) was concluded, the US Men's Olympic Hockey team was announced. One of the surprises, although not a complete surprise, was the inclusion of Anaheim Ducks defenseman, Cam Fowler.
Fowler, 22, is just the fourth Duck to be named to Team USA and is the fourth youngest player since 1988.
After being selected 12th overall in the 2010 draft, Fowler has been terrific. He won a spot on the team during his first training camp and has over 100 points in 237 career games.
"I was trying to be as calm and collected as I could, but I was pretty nervous," said Fowler during a conference call. "My heart was beating. I had a lot of adrenaline going. I was pretty nervous. But once my name was called, it was pure joy. I’m so happy. I’m still smiling. I can’t stop. What a great honor and a very proud moment for me. I’m just very excited right now."
On the Olympics being on his radar
"Getting invited to the camp in the summer was good for me. It was good to have that experience and some face time with some of the guys, the committee and everything. That was cool for me to do. It’s always been a dream of mine. If you ask any athlete to get to represent his country at the Olympics, there’s no better honor in the world. With how my play has been this year, and how the team has been doing, and the success we’ve been having, it started to get a little more real for me. When it came down to decision time, I knew I did everything I possibly could. I gave myself a good chance, and everything worked out. That was my mindset. I knew I had given it my all and put myself in a good position. Now, I’m lucky enough to make the team. I’m very, very excited."
The Ducks blue line has been hit by injuries for most of the season. Sheldon Souray has missed the entire year. Luca Sbisa is still out. Francois Beauchemin spent some time on the injured list. That has meant that everyone has had to step up, from Ben Lovejoy to Fowler.
"He came into the League as an offensive defenseman, but this season he's really prided himself on almost being a shutdown defenseman," said Lovejoy. "He's not your prototypical shutdown defenseman. He's not a big, imposing guy, but he can skate with the best players in the world. I think that that has been such an asset for our team."
It will also be an asset for Team USA in February at Sochi, a challenge Fowler is looking forward to meeting.
"You’re representing your country," said Fowler. "To go over there, and play well, both times on the bigger ice surface, I’d like to think it helped me. I showed them I can play that style of game and adapt to the big ice over there."