Jake Sanderson plays for the University of North Dakota as an ice hockey defenseman. On January 6th, Team USA invited him to play for the U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team. He has accepted the invitation. In the last 30 years, no teen has played on the U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team.
The window of opportunity to join the Olympic Team came about because NHL players are skipping the Winter Olympics due to Covid concerns. With the absence of NHL players, several college players were invited to become members of the U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team.
Sanderson and two other World Junior Championship teammates were told last month that they might have an opportunity to play in the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Sanderson later said, “We were pretty speechless ... We thought it was a possibility, just with no NHL players going. We didn’t want to get our hopes up too much, but it was in the back of our minds. And when we were asked, we were just so excited. We were freaking out and hugging each other.” He added "Not everyone gets to be an Olympian."
Sanderson was drafted fifth overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. His father is Geoffrey Sanderson, a former professional ice hockey player for the Hartford Whalers and Columbus Blue Jackets of the NHL.
Sanderson and other players joining the 2022 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team will be sporting new uniforms announced in late November. Jerseys and hoodies will feature a horizontal band with a field of stars around the entirety of the garments with “USA” written within it in white with red trim.