U.S., Canada, among nations to name first players to Olympic men’s rosters

U.S., Canada, among nations to name first players to Olympic men's rosters
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Canada, the U.S., and other countries named the first three players to their 2022 Olympic hockey rosters this week

In the case of the United States, the first three Olympic hockey players are: Seth Jones, Patrick Kane, and Auston Matthews. After a big trade, Jones joined Kane on the Blackhawks, while Matthews stars for the Maple Leafs.

Stan Bowman, GM of both the Blackhawks and the U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team, spoke about Jones, Kane, and Matthews being the first three announced.

“It’s no secret we’re excited about the prospects of our team for the 2022 Games,” Bowman said. “Patrick, Auston and Seth reflect the high level of talent that will make up our final roster as we strive to bring gold back home to the U.S.”

Because it’s the Internet, some complained about Jones being announced over, say, reigning Norris winner Adam Fox. That’s likely to be a moot point once the full rosters are announced.

Canada’s first three men’s Olympic hockey players were announced as: Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, and Alex Pietrangelo.

While final Olympic rosters aren’t expected until sometime around January, fans can narrow down their own lists sooner. Each country must submit its long list of 50 players by Oct. 15.

The 2022 Olympic men’s hockey tournament is set for Feb. 9, while the gold-medal game is scheduled for Feb. 20. There’s a January 10 deadline for the NHL/NHLPA to pull out of the 2022 Winter Olympics if COVID numbers escalate.

[Olympic men’s roster projections: U.S. / Canada]

Canada
Sidney Crosby
Connor McDavid
Alex Pietrangelo

Czech Republic
Ondrej Palat
David Pastrnak
Jakub Voracek

Finland
Sebastian Aho
Aleksander Barkov
Mikko Rantanen

Sweden
Victor Hedman
Gabriel Landeskog
Mika Zibanejad

United States
Seth Jones
Patrick Kane
Auston Matthews

Latvia
Rudolfs Balcers
Zemgus Girgensons
Kristians Rubins

Germany
Leon Draisaitl
Mortiz Seider
Phillip Grubauer

Russia Olympic Committee
Andrei Vasilevskiy
Alex Ovechkin
Nikita Kucherov

Switzerland
Nico Hischier
Timo Meier
Roman Josi

Slovakia
Andrej Sekera
Jaroslav Halak
Erik Cernak

Denmark
Oliver Bjorkstrand
Alexander True
Nikolaj Ehlers

[IIHF: Full 2022 men’s and women’s Olympic schedules]

To be announced: China

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.