Ex-NHL and Former Canuck Derek Roy makes the Canada OImypic team

Solenn Plantier
Janvier 14, 2018

He spent the majority of his North American pro career in the American Hockey League before going abroad.

Hockey Canada released its men's hockey roster for the 2018 Winter Olympic games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The World Juniors is one of the best tournaments around, with some of the most exciting hockey.

"All of that is going to be present in these Olympics as well". Still, expectations will be on Canada to bring home its 14th Olympic men's hockey title. "Not a lot of it", said Nick Sawatzky.

Having been involved as coach of Canada's world junior entries in 2009 and 2010, he knows time is short and the pressure is immense.

Ottawa Senators center Chris Kelly (22) hits the boards in the game against the San Jose Sharks in the first period at SAP Center at San Jose.

The Winter Olympics begin on Feb. 9 and run through to Feb. 25.

As NBC Olympic Talk's Nick Zaccardi noted, 23 of 25 Canadian players have NHL experience, compared to 15 of the 23 announced on the U.S. roster.

They are all first-time Olympians, but as a group have played in a combined 5,544 NHL games, led by 2011 Stanley Cup winner Chris Kelly. "As difficult as it was, it became obvious that certain players came to the forefront by the way they played and their commitment and determination to make this team".

And then there's forward Wojtek Wolski, who a year ago was recovering in hospital from a broken neck.

Two other players on the team will be familiar to Saskatchewan WHL fans as former Saskatoon Blades defenceman Stefan Elliott and Moose Jaw Warriors forward Quinton Howden will be on the squad trying to defend as Olympic champions. "That will be our biggest challenge".

"Today I am so proud and so excited".

Thirteen players on KHL teams were chosen, along with players in Sweden and other European leagues. "I think we can become complacent with coming in second".

There were two players with ties to St. John's hockey named to the team. "It's a man's game. We have the mindset of not accepting anything less than that".

The Canadian way, regardless of the names on their backs.

John's native Teddy Purcell who now plays in the Russian-based KHL did not make the cut. He's another player on the team.

Derek Kent, the COC's chief marketing officer, said at previous games in Rio and Sochi, interest was high among non-Canadians. The team's average age is 31 years.

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