Elk River Native To Play For US Hockey Team At Beijing Olympics

·2 min read

ELK RIVER, MN — Elk River native Nick Perbix is set to represent the U.S. at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing as a member of the men's hockey team.

Perbix, a senior defenseman for St. Cloud State University, was called up to the Olympic team last week alongside his Huskies teammate Sam Hentges and 23 others. St. Cloud State head coach Brett Larson will serve as an assistant for the Olympic team.

The 23-year-old said it was a “no-brainer” to accept the “once-in-a-lifetime” call to play for the U.S. men’s hockey team at the Olympics, The Rink Live reported.

He made his debut for the Huskies hockey team on Oct. 12, 2018, and registered his first assist the next day. He finished the season with a selection to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s All-Rookie team and earned the team’s Outstanding Rookie award.

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Perbix, a prospect for the Tampa Bay Lightning, was a second-team All-NCHC honoree and runner-up for NCHC Offensive Defenseman of the Year after scoring seven goals and racking up 16 assists during the 2020-21 season, according to the school.

He got his Olympic callup after the NHL opted against sending players to the Beijing Olympics due to the coronavirus.

The U.S. men's hockey team roster includes 15 collegiate players, eight professionals from European leagues and two AHL players. Seven players are Minnesota natives.

Only one of the 25 players — forward Brian O'Neill — has been to the Olympics before, according to the team.

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The U.S. Olympic men's hockey team finished seventh among 12 teams at the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The team's schedule gets underway Feb. 10 against China, followed by games Feb. 12-13 against Canada and Germany in the preliminary round.

This article originally appeared on the St. Michael Patch

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