The family business is hockey, and Mac Swanson of Anchorage just got a promotion.
The 16-year-old Anchorage forward, whose father played in the NHL, has been named to the USA selection team that will compete in the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament next month in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The Americans will face elite teams from Slovakia, Czechia, Switzerland and Germany from August 9-13.
Swanson, who was one of 12 forwards on the 20-man roster at USA Hockey’s 16-man development camp earlier this month in Amherst, New York, was not given a spot in the team because of who he knows.
“I don’t just inflate his tires just because I’m his dad,” said Brian Swanson, who played 13 seasons as a pro in the NHL, Germany and ECHL with the Alaska Aces. . “When it comes to hockey, he puts in the work, does a lot of extra stuff. It’s just his jam, man. That’s what he wants to do. »
The family’s hockey history in the state runs deep, including Mac Swanson’s grandfather, who is named after the Harry J. McDonald Memorial Center in Eagle River.
Skating for Team Alaska last season, Swanson led the 15-year-old team with 27 goals and 52 assists in 42 games.
The 5-foot-7, 170-pound player received an invite to try out in March for USA Hockey’s national team development program, but was not one of 13 forwards chosen for the NTDP.
Not getting there ‘was quite shocking’, Swanson said, but the experience ‘definitely motivated me’ to take part in the selection camp trials for the Five Nations team, which does not include NTDP players. .
“He was quite disappointed not to have made the U-17 national team,” said his mother, Lynn Swanson, “so that’s a great consolation prize.”
The United States’ five-nation team, which won the tournament last year in Switzerland, will face Germany in its first match of the tournament on August 9. Games should be streamed on Hockey TV.
In the fall, Swanson will play for the Fargo Force, which selected him in the first round of the United States Hockey League draft in March.
“I thought it was the best opportunity,” Swanson said of his decision to play for the Tier I program.
Until then, he will wear number 27 – his father’s number – while working for Uncle Sam.