With the National Hockey League stepping back from participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, a different group of Canadian athletes are on the radar for evaluation in the months leading up to the worldwide summit.
12 OHL graduates who have taken their playing careers to the European pro ranks will be watched closely by Hockey Canada as they compete for a chance to represent the country at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Canada will enter teams into two upcoming Russian-based tournaments including the 2017 Sochi Hockey Open from August 5-7 in Sochi, Russia followed by the 2017 Tournament of Nikolai Puchkov from August 14-16 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Six OHL grads have been named to Canada’s roster in Sochi, a tournament that features teams from the KHL, Russia’s top professional hockey league. Canada will face host HC Sochi on Sunday August 6th before taking on Team Russia on Monday August 7th.
An additional six OHL graduates will don the maple leaf a week later in St. Petersburg when Canada takes on Finnish-based pro team Jokerit Helsinki on Monday August 14th and KHL team SKA Neva on Tuesday August 15th.
There are a total of 30 CHL graduates on the two tournament rosters, including 12 from the Ontario Hockey League, 12 from the Western Hockey League and six from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
This marks the first time that NHL players won’t compete in the Winter Olympic Games since 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway when Sweden claimed gold with a 3-2 shootout victory over Canada.
2017 Sochi Hockey Open
(August 5-7, Sochi, Russia)
Justin Peters (Toronto St. Michael’s/Plymouth, 2002-06) – Dynamo Riga (KHL)
Patrick McNeill (Saginaw Spirit, 2003-07) – ERC Ingolstadt (DEL)
Justin Azevedo (Kitchener Rangers, 2004-08) – AK Bars Kazan (KHL)
Brandon Buck (Guelph Storm, 2006-09) – ERC Ingolstadt (DEL)
Eric O’Dell (Sudbury Wolves, 2007-11) – HK Sochi (KHL)
Daniel Paille (Guelph Storm, 2000-04) – Brynas IF (SHL)
2017 Tournament of Nikolai Puchkov
(August 14-16, St. Petersburg, Russia)
Carlo Colaiacovo (Erie Otters, 1999-03) – Adler Mannheim (DEL)
Kevin Klein (Toronto St. Michael’s/Guelph, 2000-04) – ZSC Lions (NLA)
Shawn Lalonde (Belleville Bulls, 2006-10) – Kolner Haie (DEL)
Taylor Beck (Guelph Storm, 2007-11) – Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg (KHL)
Cory Emmerton (Kingston/Brampton, 2004-08) – HC Ambri-Piotta (NLA)
Derek Roy (Kitchener Rangers, 1999-03) – Linkoping HC (SHL)
For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Team Program, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow through social media on Facebook,Twitter, and Twitter.com/HC_Men.