Who could represent the Rangers – and their countries – at the next Olympic Winter Games?
The NHL sends players to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, China. The players who make up their respective country’s rosters will be the subject of a hot debate between now and the announcement of the final rosters in January.
In October, the IIHF coordinated with the NHL and NHLPA to nominate three provisional players for each country’s National Olympic Men’s Team roster.
Only one New York Rangers player was one of the three named provisional players: Mika zibanejad, who will represent Sweden. The other two players nominated for Sweden were Tampa defenseman Victor Hedman and Colorado forward Gabriel Landeskog.
So who else from the Rangers could be heading to the Olympics? Here are some options.
- Mika zibanejad – Sweden
- Adam fox – UNITED STATES
- Artemi Panarin – Russia
Zibanejad is already on the list for Sweden.
When the United States named their three players, the defenseman on the roster was Chicago’s Seth Jones – a surprise, until you consider that the person who nominated all three was then Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman. (who has since resigned in Chicago and functions with USA Hockey). Fox is a lock to be a first pair defender for the United States.
Panarin will be one of six Russian forwards. They have already named Alex Ovechkin and Nikita Kucherov, so Panarin could fit in as a second-row winger in a very good team.
Possible / Probable
- Philippe Chytil – Czech
- Kaapo Kakko – Finland
These two young forwards could impress enough as the season continues to play an important role for their country at the Olympics.
On the fence
- Igor shesterkin – Russia
- Chris Kreider – UNITED STATES
Shesterkin has a climb ahead of him. Russia have already announced that Andrei Vesilevski and two other goalkeepers in town – Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin – could be the other two goalkeepers for the Russian squad.
Kreider could be a useful bottom-six striker for the United States. We’ll see if he gets an invite in January when the lists are officially announced.