First batch of NHL players named for Beijing Games

Teams participating in the Beijing 2022 Men's Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament each announced provisional lists of three NHL players (per team) this week.

By Jonah Fontela
Picture by 2019 Getty Images

The participating teams that will comprise the Beijing 2022 Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament provisionally announced a list of three (per team) National Hockey League (NHL)-based players this week.

Team USA, led by two-time Stanley Cup-winning coach Mike Sullivan, named a trio of league all-stars in winger Patrick Kane of Chicago, his Blackhawks’ teammate and defenseman Seth Jones and Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews.

"It's no secret we're excited about the prospects of our team for the 2022 Games," said USA Hockey general manager Stan Bowman as the Americans look to win their first men’s gold in 42 years. "Patrick [Kane], Auston [Matthews] and Seth [Jones] reflect the high level of talent that will make up our final roster as we strive to bring gold back home…"

Earlier in the week, 2018 bronze-medal winners Team Canada announced Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby, reigning NHL MVP Connor McDavid and Las Vegas-based defensemen Alex Pietrangelo as the first three players in Jon Cooper’s side.

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Picture by 2014 Getty Images

Among a number of other top names called up for the Games this week are Alexander Ovechkin for reigning Olympic champions Team ROC and the Boston Bruins-based two-time NHL all-star David Pastrnak.

The NHL and the league’s Players’ Association requested each participating team to select three players before the start of the current NHL season (which begins on 12 October). Final team lists – consisting of three goaltenders and 22 skaters per team – will be submitted in January.

NHL players began participating in the Olympics in 1998, though active NHL players were forbidden from competing for their country at the last Winter Games in PyeongChang in 2018.

The Beijing 2022 Men's Ice Hockey Tournament runs from 4 to 20 February. The NHL will go on hiatus while the Olympic competition is underway and 12 national teams, including hosts the People’s Republic of China, take aim at the medals on offer.

TEAM FINLAND

Sebastian AHO (Carolina Hurricanes)

Aleksander BARKOV (Florida Panthers)

Mikko RANTANEN (Colorado Avalanche)

Team SWEDEN

Viktor HEDMAN (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Gabriel LANDESKOG (Colorado Avalanche)

Mika ZIBANEJAD (New York Rangers)

Team CZECH REPUBLIC

Ondrej PALAT (Tampa Bay Lightning)

David PASTRNAK (Boston Bruins)

Jakub VORACEK (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Team USA

Auston MATTHEWS (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Seth JONES (Chicago Blackhawks)

Patrick KANE (Chicago Blackhawks)

Team CANADA

Sidney CROSBY (Pittsburgh Penguins)

Connor MCDAVID (Edmonton Oilers)

Alex PIETRANGELO (Vegas Golden Knights)

Team LATVIA

Rudolfs BALCERS (San Jose Sharks)

Zemgus GIRGENSONS (Buffalo Sabres)

Kristians RUBINS (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Team SWITZERLAND

Nico HISCHIER (New Jersey Devils)

Timo MEIER (San Jose Sharks)

Roman JOSI (Nashville Predators)

Team GERMANY

Leon DRAISAITL (Edmonton Oilers)

Philllip GRUBAUER (Seattle Kraken)

Moritz SEIDER (Detroit Red Wings)

Team SLOVAKIA

Erik CERNAK (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Jaroslav HALAK (Vancouver Canucks)

Andrej SEKERA (Dallas Stars)

Team ROC

Nikita KUCHEROV (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Alexander OVECHKIN (Washington Capitals)

Andrei VASILEVSKI (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Team DENMARK

Oliver BJORKSTRAND (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Nikolaj EHLERS (Winnipeg Jets)

Alexander TRUE (Seattle Kraken)