It looks like Team USA will feature a Washington Capitals alumnus in Beijing, as Aaron Ness reportedly earned an invite to lace ’em up for the Americans in the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Per Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli and Chris Peters, Ness is among the 15 players invited to join Team USA in Beijing.
Ness spent three years with the Capitals organization, mainly playing for the AHL’s Hershey Bears. He played 18 games up with the big club, picking up three assists. In 239 total games with Hershey, he racked up 20 goals, 128 points and a +/- of plus-23.
After leaving Washington, Ness signed a two-year, two-way deal in Arizona and skated in 25 total games with the Coyotes and 17 with the Tucson Roadrunners.
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This season, he is playing with the Providence Bruins after joining Boston a professional tryout, choosing the B’s over the Seattle Kraken. Through 25 games so far, he has seven assists and is a plus-3.
In 561 career AHL games, Ness has 45 goals and 267 points, with a +/- of plus-6. He was also the captain of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
The 5-10, 188-pound blueliner is a solid puck mover who can battle for pucks and play a physical game. He can also skate well and has good awareness at both ends of the ice.
Ness is not the only former Capital who has earned Olympic consideration. Eric Fehr is on Canada’s radar, and per reports, Brendan Leipsic, Daniel Winnik and Daniel Carr are on Team Canada’s shortlist to boot.
Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the NHL has elected not to send its players to Beijing for the Olympics. Instead, the league will use the Olympic break to make up the high number of postponed games.
Alex Ovechkin was among the invites for Team Russia. Lars Eller also had potential consideration for Team Denmark. In addition, Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson, T.J. Oshie, Martin Fehervary and more could have also laced ’em up.