The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing are scheduled for Feb. 4-20. They will mark the first time NHL players have participated in men's ice hockey at the Games since 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
Team Canada took home the gold medal at the Sochi Games. Eight years later, they will attempt to regain their dominance on the Winter Olympic stage.
They will have plenty of All-Star talent to draw upon. Some players, such as Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, will likely return to represent their country in Olympic action. Others, like Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid and Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon, are expected to make their Olympic debuts.
Here is our way-too-early projection for Team Canada's men's 2022 Winter Olympic roster. It's broken down by potential forward lines, defense pairings and goaltenders. Two spare forwards and two spare defensemen have also been included to complete the 25-man roster.
Goaltenders: Carey Price, Jordan Binnington, Carter Hart
Team Canada's goaltending isn't as strong or experienced as it was on its 2014 Olympic gold-medal team or 2016 World Cup of Hockey squad. Nevertheless, it has the starter from its 2014 Olympic roster, a Stanley Cup champion and a promising young netminder.
Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price has plenty of international hockey expertise. He backstopped Canada to a World Junior Championship in 2007, Olympic gold in 2014 and its 2016 World Cup of Hockey triumph. He remains well-respected by his peers, topping last season's NHLPA poll to find the league's best goalie.
He's expected to return between the pipes as Canada's starter.
Jordan Binnington had an impressive NHL rookie season in 2018-19, carrying the St. Louis Blues to their first Stanley Cup. His recent stats haven't been as impressive as the 1.89 goals-against average and .927 save percentage of that inaugural campaign, but his Cup run proved he's calm under pressure and should be well-suited for Olympic competition.
Philadelphia Flyers netminder Carter Hart also began his NHL career in 2018-19. The youngster has some international experience, winning silver for Canada at the 2017 World Junior Championship and gold in 2018. He outdueled Price as his Flyers eliminated the Canadiens from the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs.