COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.), a two-time Paralympic gold medalist at the 2010 and 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, has been tabbed captain of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team for the 2017-18 season. In addition, Nikko Landeros (Johnstown, Colo.) and Declan Farmer (Tampa, Fla.) have been named alternate captains.
“We’re thrilled to have Josh, Nikko and Declan leading this locker room this coming season,” said Guy Gosselin (Grafton, Wis.), head coach of the 2017-18 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. “Their dedication and work ethich both on and off the ice have made them key contributors in establishing the winning culture our program has today. They also understand the importance of team chemistry, which we’ll lean on heavily as we aim to claim a Paralympic gold medal next March.”
Pauls begins his 10th season with the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team, of which he was an alternate captain the last three seasons. Since making his debut with the national team in the 2008-09 season, Pauls has helped the U.S. capture 10 major international competitions, including two Paralympic Winter Games (2014, 2010), two Para Sled Hockey World Championships (2015, 2012), five World Sled Hockey Challenges (2016 (Dec.), 2016 (Jan.), 2015, 2012, 2009) as well as the 2016 IPC Pan-Pacific Championship. For his performances, he was named Best Defenseman by the directorate at both the 2016 IPC Pan-Pacific Championship and 2015 IPC Sled Hockey World Championship. In 121 games for Team USA, Pauls has compiled 85 points (36-49) while playing as both a forward and defenseman for the United States and ranks third all-time in points (85), fourth in goals (36) and sixth in assists (49).
A member of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team since the 2009-10 season, Landeros enters his ninth season as a defenseman with the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team and fourth consecutive campaign as an alternate captain. A two-time gold medalist at two Paralympic Winter Games (2014, 2010), Landeros has helped Team USA capture eight other major international events, including two IPC Sled Hockey World Championships (2015, 2012), five World Sled Hockey Challenges (2016 (Dec.), 2016 (Jan.), 2015, 2012, 2009) as well as the 2016 IPC Pan-Pacific Championship. In 111 games with Team USA, Landeros has totaled 75 points (33-42), which ranks fifth all-time. In addition, his assists ranks fifth while his goals rank sixth.
Farmer is entering his sixth season with the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team and his first as an alternate captain. At his first Paralympic Winter Games in 2014, Farmer helped Team USA earn a gold medal by tallying four points (3-1) in five games, which saw him named the IPC’s Best Male Athlete as well as the recipient of the 2014 ESPY for Best Male Athlete with a Disability. In addition to a Paralympic gold medal, Farmer has helped Team USA claim seven other major international events, including a Para Sled Hockey World Championship (2015), five World Sled Hockey Challenges (2016 (Dec.), 2016 (Jan.), 2015, 2012, 2009) and the 2016 IPC Pan-Pacific Championship. A year ago, Farmer led the U.S. to a silver medal at the 2017 Para Sled Hockey World Championship where he was named Best Forward of the Tournament after setting new U.S. records for goals (12) and points (18) in a single world championship. In total, Farmer holds 11 U.S. records, including a career best 58 goals and 108 points in just 64 games for Team USA.
The U.S. National Sled Hockey Team will reconvene in Madison, Wisconsin, from Nov. 2-5, for its final training camp before opening international play at the 2017 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown, P.E.I., from Dec. 1-10. For complete coverage of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team, click here.
NOTES: Deloitte, Labatt USA and Toyota are proud sponsors of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team … At 24 years old, Josh Pauls (Green Brook, N.J.) is the youngest player to captain a U.S. National Sled Hockey Team … Dan Brennan (Colorado Springs, Colo.), director of sled and inline national teams for USA Hockey, is serving as the general manager of the 2017-18 U.S. National Sled Hockey Team … Guy Gosselin (Grafton, Wis.), a two-time U.S. Olympian (1988, 1992) and USA Hockey’s regional manager of the American Development Model, is in his first season as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. Joining Gosselin behind the bench is assistant coach David Hoff (Bottineau, N.D.). Additional staff members include team physician Mike Uihlein (Grafton, Wis.), athletic trainer Mike Cortese (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and equipment manager Joel Isaacson (Houghton, Mich.) … The 2018 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team will be announced later this year.