Which players could represent Canada at the Olympics?
Hockey Canada will have its Olympic men’s hockey team roster in place within the next two weeks, according to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger.
The roster could include the likes of forward Mason McTavish and defenceman Owen Power from Canada’s World Junior Championship team, as well as veterans such as goaltenders Devan Dubnyk and Edward Pasquale, defenceman Tyler Wotherspoon, and forward Adam Cracknell.
Dubnyk, Wotherspoon, and Cracknell have spent time in the American Hockey League this season, while Pasquale is playing in the KHL for Yaroslavl Lokomotiv.
Dubnyk, 35, appeared in two games for the Charlotte Checkers, the Florida Panther’s affiliate, where he has a 2-0-0 record with a .884 save percentage and 2.51 goals-against average this season. A three-time NHL All-Star, the native of Regina, Sask., has played 542 NHL games, winning 253 of them and has spent time with the Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators, Arizona Coyotes, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche. He has 33 career shutouts and has a career save percentage of .914 and 2.61 GAA.
Wotherspoon, 28, has seven assists in 20 games with the Utica Comets, an affiliate of the New Jersey Devils. The Burnaby, B.C., native played parts of five seasons in the NHL where he has five assists in 30 games, all with the Calgary Flames.
Cracknell, 36, has four goals and 14 points with the Bakersfield Condors, an affiliate of the Oilers. The Prince Albert, Sask., native played parts of 11 seasons in the NHL where he scored 21 goals and 43 points in 210 games split between the St. Louis Blues, Columbus Blue Jackets, Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, and Anaheim Ducks.
Pasquale, 31, has a 19-16-3 record with a .916 save percentage and 1.99 GAA with Yaroslavl Lokomotiv in the KHL. The Toronto native played three games with the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2018-19 season where he posted a 2-1-0 record with a .882 save percentage and 3.96 GAA.
McTavish and Power returned to their junior and college teams when the World Juniors were cancelled on Dec. 29.
McTavish has five goals in four games with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League this season. The 18-year-old was the third overall pick (Anaheim Ducks) in the 2021 NHL draft.
Power has three goals and 23 points in 18 games with the University of Michigan this season. The 19-year-old was selected first overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2021 draft.
The NHL opted last month to not send its players to the Beijing Olympics due to rising COVID-19 cases during the ongoing pandemic. The league said its 2021-22 regular-season schedule has been impacted because of team outbreaks as case numbers climb, resulting in the postponement and rescheduling of dozens of games.