Boldy and Hartman will both help solidify a forward core that was seriously lacking in talent. The team still got away with a 4-1 win against Latvia to open the tournament, largely in part due to the stellar play of San Jose Sharks prospect Strauss Mann in the net.
After a disappointing end to the Wild’s season, losing in six games in the First Round to the St. Louis Blues, Boldy, Hartman, and Merrill will get the chance for success on the international stage. Boldy earned a mid-season callup to the Wild this season and never looked back, tallying 15 goals, 24 assists, and 39 points in his first 47 NHL contests. Undoubtedly a top-six fixture in Minnesota for years to come, the 2019 12th overall pick joins the United States as their most skilled winger.
Hartman enjoyed a career year between wingers Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello, smashing his previous career-high of 19 goals and 31 points with a 34-goal, 65-point season. He also had a respectable five assists in six playoff games.
Merrill also set a career-high in points this season with 20. The 30-year-old defenseman found a much more solid role in the Wild lineup after failing to make much of an impact with either the Detroit Red Wings or Montreal Canadiens last season.
The US is looking to capture their first gold medal at the tournament since 1960.