2022 Olympic Men's Hockey Team Finland Preliminaries - Sports1
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2022 Olympic Men’s Hockey Team Finland Preliminaries

If the NHL and NHLPA allow their players to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics, Finland will have a strong squad. From Aleksander Barkov to Sebastian Aho, they will be a force to be reckoned with.Unfortunately, hockey fans won’t see players like them in official NHL games To leave a race December 22, 2021.

2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, 18 years old Eeli Tolvanen leads the team They finished sixth on the podium with 3 goals and 9 points. He won’t be there this year, as he’s currently starring in the NHL’s Nashville Predators. Therefore, they will have to find someone else to take his place. Top 2022 prospects Joakim Kemer and Brad Lambert may be asked to do so when they’re denied a chance for glory 2022 World Youth Championship postponed last month.

Like Canada, Russia, Sweden and the United States, Finland has achieved success on the international stage. Surprisingly, not so much at the Olympics.

Finland has a rich history of hockey

For a country of only 5.53 million people, they could certainly draw out NHL talent.Likes from the Hall of Fame Tim Selan and Jari Kuri For current stars like Aho and Barkov, they often have no trouble giving the world stage something to talk about. They don’t have superstars like Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be out easily. You can always count on their work ethic and never-say-die mentality. They go out every shift and press you to the ground.

Finland’s emphasis on skill development and a fanatical dedication to cohesive team play has made it a contender year after year.

Lucas Aykroyd, IIHF.com

Whether it’s an elite first team like Selanne or a grinder like Jarkko Ruutu, they all have the same worker bee attitude. When an entire team buys the system, they become more difficult to play against. That’s why the Finns should never be ruled out in any international competition.

related: Selanne’s Legacy: Teemu Selanne’s Unrivaled Record

Most of Finland’s success comes from the World Championships (WC). Since their first medal at the 1992 WC, they have won three golds, six silvers and three bronzes. They last won the title in 2019 when they beat Canada 3-1 thanks to two goals from Marko Anttila. However, the Olympics were not so good.

Kasperi Kapanen Finland
Finland also has a history of success outside the Olympics (The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick)

Finland has participated in 17 of the past 18 Olympic Games since its debut in Oslo in 1952. The only time they didn’t play was in 1956, when Cortina d’Ampezzo hosted it.They never experienced gold glory, but in 1988 and 2006 Alexander Mogilney The USSR and Henrik Zetterberg and the Swedes left them with the championship.

related: Top 10 Finns of the 1980s

All in all, 16 years and three Olympics have passed since Finland was lucky enough to compete in the gold medal competition. In addition to the two silver medals, they also have four bronze medals. Before finishing sixth in 2018, they had won medals at three consecutive Olympics and six of the past eight. So, looking at the big picture, they’re doing pretty well.

Fun facts about the Finnish team and its players

  • Since the league’s inception in 1917, 249 Finnish players have played in at least one game in the NHL.
  • Selanne still leads all Finns in NHL goals and points with 684 and 1,457 respectively. The next active player is Barkov, who scored 196 goals and scored 492 points. Unless he keeps a low profile for the rest of his career, his record is safe for the foreseeable future.
  • Finland’s biggest victory on the international stage came in a 20-1 victory over Norway on 12 March 1947.
  • Instead, their biggest loss came against Canada on March 3, 1958, when they were beaten 24-0.
  • Finland has retired seven players, Selanne (#8), Birch (#11), Kurri (#17), Raimo Helminen (#14), Ville Peltonen (#16), Jere Lehtinen (#26) and Kimmo Timonen (#14). #44).
  • To this day, Herminen remains the Olympic record holder for most competitions. From 1984 to 2002, he participated in six Olympic Games.
  • Saku Koivu holds the Olympic record for the most assists by a center with 19 assists in 22 career games.

superstar on the world stage

Since most of the past Olympics have been played by NHL players, Finland has a large number of stars. Selanne (aka Finnish Flash) was their most prolific player, scoring 24 goals and scoring 43 points in 37 games. He also won three bronze medals and one silver medal. Koivu, captain of the last team to reach the gold medal match, is second with nine goals and 30 points in 28 games.

Selanne is the oldest player to score at the Olympics
Teemu Selanne is Finland’s most prolific shooter in the Olympics and NHL (THW file)

Without NHLers this year, the pressure will be on players who don’t have a lot of experience in this arena. Rumored players like Marcus Granlund, Valtteri Filppula, Leo Komarov and Sami Vatanen have only competed in one Olympics. They each have a bronze medal, so they’re sure to be leaders of a team full of young, inexperienced players.

Where do Finnish players come from?

Typically, the NHL is the largest source of talent for the Finnish national team. Without NHLers, they’ll be forced to look elsewhere. Most likely, they will use the Finnish League, the Continental Hockey League (KHL) and various youth leagues this time around. If they use the presumed names Granlund, Komarov, Filppula and Vatanen, the Swiss league and the KHL will be important sources. If it ends up being Lambert and Kemer, JYP will soon lose two top players.

Valtteri Filppula Detroit Red Wings
Valtteri Filppula, a veteran of more than 1,000 NHL games, will be a strong candidate for Finland’s Olympic team (Jess Starr/hockey writer)

Yes, Finland won’t have their usual star, but that doesn’t mean the team should take it lightly. Their system, work ethic and regular goalkeeping more than make up for their apparent lack of talent. They always seem to surprise their opponents, star or no star. This year should be no different, even if the NHL’s name doesn’t wear the Suomi crest.

Matthew Zator is a THW freelance writer, media editor and scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, NHL draft and general prospects. He likes to talk about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL draft and its prospects.For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts, which are listed below his photo at the end of the article Like this one about Taylor Mott.

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