COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Four former Yale All-American forwards currently playing professionally in Europe have been selected to the U.S. National Team for next month’s Deutschland Cup. Mark Arcobello ’10, Sean Backman ’10, Broc Little ’11 and Brian O’Neill ’12, all of whom skated together for Keith Allain ’80, Yale’s Malcolm G. Chace Head Coach, will be with their college coach in Germany for the competition that helps determine who will be on the U.S. Olympic Team roster for February’s Winter Games in South Korea.
The U.S. squad will begin practicing at Curt-Frenzel Stadium on Nov. 8, while the Cup competition runs from the 10th to the 12th.
Arcobello, who has played for the U.S. at the World Championships, is one of 21 players on the current U.S. team who has played in the NHL. He is currently with Bern SC of Switzerland.
O’Neill, the former AHL Player of the Year who went on to skate in the NHL, has been skating with Jokerit Helsinki (Finland) in the KHL.
Backman had seven seasons in the AHL before joining the Eisbaren Berlin in Germany.
Little has spent most of his pro career in Sweden, but he also skated in the AHL and in Switzerland. He is now with HC Davis in the Swiss league.
The coaching staff of the 2018 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, led by head coach Tony Granato, will serve as the coaching staff for the 2017 U.S. Men’s National Select Team. Assistant coaches include Allain, Chris Chelios, Ron Rolston and Scott Young. Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey, is the general manager for both the 2017 U.S. Men’s National Select Team and the 2018 Olympic Men’s Ice Ice Hockey Team, while former Yale men’s hockey assistant coach Ben Smith is serving as director of player personnel.