By Paul Osborne

IPC reveal Ones to Watch list ahead of Sochi 2014 Paralympic GamesOctober 8 - The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has named six ice sledge hockey players as top athletes to watch on the road to Sochi 2014.

The Ones to Watch list was revealed exactly 150 days before the start of the first Paralympic Games in Russia.

More athletes from the sport may be added following the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey Qualification Tournament, which is due to take place from October 20 until 26 in Turin.

Leading the list was Greg Westlake, the 27-year-old captained Canada to a gold medal at the 2013 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool in Goyang, South Korea, earlier this year.

The Canadian, who has racked up more than 230 points in his career, was also named best forward at the competition in Goyang.

"I am completely honoured to be included in the Ones to Watch," said Westlake.

"Not only are there so many great players in the world already, but the sport's popularity is constantly growing and players are getting better every year.

"It is becoming increasingly more difficult to stay on this list, so anytime you can make a list like this with some other tremendous athletes it is a really special thing to be a part of.

"I know that everyone on this list and many more who could have been included will be working hard to give their country the best possible chance to win a gold medal in Sochi, so making this list is also a reminder to keep training at a high level."

Greg Westlake is named on the IPC Ones to Watch list for Sochi 2014Greg Westlake is named on the IPC Ones to Watch list for Sochi 2014

On the other side of the puck is goal tender Steve Cash, the American will who be competing in his third Paralympics at Sochi 2014. 

At Vancouver 2010 Cash did what no other sledge hockey goalie had done before. In five games he faced 33 shots and saved them all, and was a big reason why the United States beat Japan to capture the gold medal.

Last season also saw Cash post his best goals against average to date, with a final figure of 0.79.

That, along with his .926 save percentage and 5 shut-outs makes him one of the IPC's Ones to Watch going into next year's Winter Games.

Another man to make the list was Russian superstar Dmitry Lisov.

The 22-year-old has helped transform the Russian team from nothing three years ago, to one of the best sledge hockey teams in the world.

Lisov led Russia to a bronze medal at last year's IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championship, scoring four goals and an assist, helping Russia to qualify for their first Paralympics in the sport.

Expectations will be high for the young star going into next year's Winter Games with home supporters hoping both he and the Russian team can perform in Sochi.

Russian superstar Dmitry Lisov hopes to lead Russia to Paralympic success in SochiRussian superstar Dmitry Lisov hopes to lead Russia to Paralympic success in Sochi

Next on the list was Norwegian veteran Rolf Pederson.

The 44-year-old goes into his fourth Paralympics looking for his first sledge hockey gold medal after already collecting two silvers and a bronze with the Norwegian team.

Despite his age Pederson is still ranked amongst the best in the world and his five goals and three assists at  the Ice Sledge Hockey "4 Nations" Tournament did nothing but strengthen these claims.

If Norway is to do well in Sochi they'll need their veteran leader to be at the top of his game and let his goal-scoring do the talking.

From the old to the young, next up is USA's newest prodigy, Josh Pauls.

The American went into Vancouver as America's youngest player at the ripe old age of 17.

Four years later, Pauls is as hungry as ever and hopes he and his team mates can reclaim the gold medal they won back in 2010.

Pauls, now 21, goes into Sochi off the back of his best international season yet. The youngster scored 20 points, nine goals and 11 assists, in the 16 games he played this season and hopes he can carry that form into the games next March.

Josh Pauls was Americans youngest player when they took gold in Vancouver 2010Josh Pauls was Americans youngest player when they took gold in Vancouver 2010

Last, but certainly not least, is Canadian Brad Bowden.

Canada's assistant captain was the difference in their victory over Norway at Turin 2006, scoring the game winning goal that landed them the gold medal.

More recently, Bowden was tournament top scorer when Canada took gold in the 2013 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championship, scoring 11 points in total.

He also secured four assists while in Sochi for the Paralympic test event in August.