Like hockey fans across North America, Capitals defenseman John Carlson will be watching Wednesday’s Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium in frigid Ann Arbor, Mich.

Well, at least he’ll be watching the end of the game.

Immediately following the 1 p.m. outdoor showdown between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, Team USA will announce its 25-man roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and Carlson has an excellent chance of representing his country.

“To me, that’s an easy answer,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said. “He should be on it because he’s one of the best defensemen in the league.”

Carlson, a 23-year-old native of Natick, Mass., is tied with Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien for second among American-born NHL defensemen with seven goals, one behind Boston’s Torey Krug. Carlson ranks 14th in points [15] and fifth in ice time [24:41] among American defensemen in the NHL.