The Flyers have had a pretty decent run with their players representing their countries in the Olympics. And with the NHL allowing players to once again suit up for the Olympics being held in Beijing. Do we all remember what happened the last time the Olympics were there (I don’t care if it was summer)? In the past we’ve had Flyers legends like Eric Lindros, Eric Desjardins, Rod Brind’Amour representing Team Canada, John LeClair representing Team USA, but some more recent Flyers represented their home teams like Jake Voracek being a lock for the Czech team, and Michael Raffl playing for Team Austria, but with those two gone who on this current roster could be fighting for a spot?
Coots has dual citizenship so he can technically be on Team USA or Team Canada, but he’ll probably try to be on the more prestigious Team Canada. It will be no easy task, as Canada is obviously still the powerhouse it is in the hockey world, boasting locks such as McDavid, MacKinnon, and Crosby just to name a couple centers. Couturier’s strong defensive play could land him a 4th line role, and Coots can also back up his reason for being on that team with good offensive output as well. The belief is that Canada could go offensive heavy on the 3 top lines and have an amazing 4th line of defensive stonewalls like Coots, Bergeron, and Stone. By the way, Coots is on a defense-heavy fourth line of him, O’Reilly, and Stone on The Hockey News’s Canada projection.
Giroux is off to a pretty good start this year. He was famously snubbed in 2014, whether it be from his slow start that NHL season, the insane depth that Canada always has, or the team’s captain, Sidney Crosby, still having very heated feelings toward Giroux and not wanting him on the team, Giroux did not get to live his childhood dream. This is the very last chance of Giroux living that dream. He is a long shot, but if Giroux has a really strong season, mixed with name recognition and veteran leadership, Giroux could have a chance.
Carter Hart is on the 6 goalie list that Team Canada released as their most likely choices for the tournament. We don’t know if Carey Price will be back on the ice by the Olympics, so the list may be down to 5. Besides the two I’ve named, other goalie options for Team Canada are MacKenzie Blackwood, Darcy Keumper, and Marc-Andre Fleury. With Fleury’s play with the Blackhawks so far, he seems like the weakest of the rest. Carter really needs to keep up this solid bounce back season to be named onto the team though. On top of this MacKenzie Blackwood could have some trouble with him being unvaccinated, so that could factor into Canada’s decision with goaltending.
According to Elliotte Friedman on the TJMS show, Farabee could be on the US Olympic Team. Farabee has started out very strong this season and is steadily cementing himself as a premier name in the NHL. Joel Farabee has been getting better every year, and even if he doesn’t make it this year, he’ll probably go in 2026 in Italy if his development keeps on this upward track. Team USA is not an easy one to make, but Joel Farabee is making a case to be on the team in February.
Cam Atkinson has had a hot start with Joel Farabee this season. That chemistry could lead to both of them being on the US Olympic Team. It also would help that both can play well on the PK together, which we have seen. The Hockey News had Cam Atkinson on their Team USA projection on September 10, 2021.
James van Riemsdyk
JvR can still provide a lot to Team USA, he is a great net front guy to tip in and score those dirty goals. He was also named on The Hockey News’s Team USA projection on September 10, 2021. He led the Flyers in points last year, and is playing solid to start out this year, he definitely can be a dark horse candidate.
Ivan Provorov is probably the easiest to say will be on an Olympic team. Russia has very good options in net with Vasilevskiy being the obvious starter and a young trio of goalies in the Metro in Shesterkin, Sorokin, and Samsonov, along with Russian vet Sergei Bobrovsky. Russia is also pretty stacked offensively with guys like Ovechkin, Kucherov, Kaprizov, and Malkin (assuming he’s healthy) headlining the offense. Russia is not very deep on defense though. Alongside Provorov, the most notable Russian blue liners in the NHL are Orlov, Sergachev, Zadorov, Zaitsev, and Romanov. Slava Voynov will probably be pushing for a spot with his play in the KHL, but Provorov is pretty much a lock to make the Russian team. He was also listed on the top pair of The Hockey News’s Team Russia prediction.
By: Noah Caplan (@Phlyers24 and @NoahlyPod)
Pic creds: olympics.com