We already know what Team USA will look like for men’s hockey at the 2018 Winter Olympics, and we’ll find out about Team Canada with an announcement set Thursday afternoon. As you’ve surely heard by now, the proceedings have gone a bit differently than normal without the NHL.
Colleges, European leagues, and the AHL will be the prime sources of talent for this year’s tournament as a result of the NHL’s decision not to participate. It’s going to be a much different affair, albeit one still full of the passionate players and exciting stories that define every Olympics.
The one thing we’re really missing out on is the juggernaut national teams. Our look at a potential Team USA with NHL players revealed a stacked lineup featuring Auston Matthews, Patrick Kane, Seth Jones, and other stars. It’s too bad we can’t see a team like that representing the United States in Pyeongchang.
But as good as the Americans would’ve been, it’s fair to say that Team Canada would’ve been even better. Here’s a look at how we would put together a team of Canadians to try to win gold in February. For some comparison, here are projections from The Athletic, ESPN, and Sportsnet. This team would be, well, ridiculously stacked.
F1: Taylor Hall — Connor McDavid — Nathan MacKinnon
F2: Brad Marchand — Sidney Crosby — Patrice Bergeron
F3: Steven Stamkos — John Tavares — Tyler Seguin
F4: Jamie Benn — Mark Scheifele — Claude Giroux
Extras: Jonathan Huberdeau, Jonathan Toews
D1: Duncan Keith — Drew Doughty
D2: Morgan Rielly — Alex Pietrangelo
D3: Mark Giordano — Dougie Hamilton
Extras: P.K. Subban, Brent Burns
Starter: Corey Crawford
Backups: Carey Price, Braden Holtby
Obviously this leaves out a ton of great names. Here’s a sampling of those who miss the cut here: Mark Stone, Logan Couture, Shea Weber, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Sean Monahan, Matt Murray, Josh Bailey, Brayden Schenn, Mathew Barzal, Mitch Marner, Jake Muzzin, Jaden Schwartz, and Ryan Getzlaf. You could build a pretty impressive team just with those who didn’t make it.