The NHL has still yet to confirm if their players will be participating in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing in February, but decision is expected to come next week. However, we do know the countries that will be in the men’s tournament. And one of them will be a first-timer.
On Sunday Denmark, Latvia and Slovakia qualified for the final three spots in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics men’s ice hockey tournament. They will join Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, the Russian Olympic Committee, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States in the 12-team tournament.
With its 2-0 win over Norway on Sunday in their qualifying tournament, Denmark punched its ticket for the men’s Olympic hockey tournament for the first time ever. If NHL players participate in the 2022 Beijing games, Denmark will have a handful of notable NHL players likely representing them, including Washington Capitals forward Lars Eller, who did not participate in this weekends Olympic qualifiers.
Also on Sunday Slovakia punched their ticket to the Olympics with a 2-1 win over Belarus. Capitals defenseman Martin Fehervary was unable to participate in this weekends tournament due to a lower-body injury, but will be eligible to play for Slovakia. Capitals forward prospect Aliaksei Protas had an assist in this weekends tournament, but will not be eligible to participate in the Olympics.
The Winter Olympics in Beijing, China will start on February 4 and last until February 20. Slovakia will meet Finland, Sweden and Latvia in Group C. Group A will include Canada, USA, Germany and China and Group B will include Russia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Denmark.
It should be noted that the composition of the groups was determined on the basis of the IIHF rating.
By Jon Sorensen