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U.S., Canada, other nations announce initial Olympic roster selections

May 20, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) carries the puck against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period of game one of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
May 20, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (34) carries the puck against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period of game one of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

To no one’s surprise, Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Auston Matthews, Leon Draisaitl and Alex Ovechkin are officially headed to the 2022 Winter Olympics.

NHL players will be allowed to participate in Beijing after missing the 2018 Games, and the International Ice Hockey Federation asked 11 of the 12 competing nations to submit lists of three “provisional” NHL players who will be included on their national team rosters next February.

The U.S. team selected Matthews, the Toronto Maple Leafs forward, plus defenseman Seth Jones and forward Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Canada’s first three choices were centers Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers — arguably the sport’s two biggest stars — plus Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.

Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals forward chasing the all-time goals record, was an obvious selection for the “Russian Olympic Committee” squad. The Russians also chose winger Nikita Kucherov and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

Germany announced its choices Friday, including Draisaitl — the 2020 league MVP and McDavid’s teammate in Edmonton — plus Seattle Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider.

The final, complete rosters will be announced in January. The U.S. will begin in Group A with Canada, Germany and host China, which has no NHL players.

Finland
Sebastian Aho
Aleksander Barkov
Mikko Rantanen

Sweden
Viktor Hedman
Gabriel Landeskog
Mika Zibanejad

Czech Republic
Ondrej Palat
David Pastrnak
Jakub Voracek

USA
Auston Matthews
Seth Jones
Patrick Kane

Canada
Sidney Crosby
Connor McDavid
Alex Pietrangelo

Latvia
Rudolfs Balcers
Zemgus Girgensons
Kristians Rubins

Switzerland
Nico Hischier
Timo Meier
Roman Josi

Germany
Leon Draisaitl
Philipp Grubauer
Moritz Seider

Slovakia
Erik Cernak
Jaroslav Halak
Andrej Sekera

ROC
Nikita Kucherov
Alexander Ovechkin
Andrei Vasilevskiy

Denmark
Oliver Bjorkstrand
Nikolaj Ehlers
Alexander True

–Field Level Media