Today USA Hockey named their first 3 players for the 2022 Beijing Olympics and no surprise it’s Seth Jones, Auston Matthews, and Patrick Kane. Absolutely no shock in this.
Patrick Kane was captain of Team USA at the World Championships in 2018 and 2019. He’s one of the best American players to have ever played. He has played numerous tournaments and games with Team USA but I’ll just stick to his World Champ and Olympic stats. At the Olympics, he played 6 games with 5 points (3G 2A). At his 3 World Championships, he had played in 25 games and put up 42 points (13G 29A) with a 1.68 points per game. The man’s got 3 Stanley Cups, 1 Olympic Silver, a bronze at the World Championships. Absolutely no shock he was a first ballot pick, I won’t be shocked if they name him captain or an alternative captain at some point.
Auston Matthews is another no-brainer. Matthews is another one of the most nasty USA players. Matthews never played in an Olympics because he was 13 the last time NHL players were allowed in the Games. However he has been a massive part of Team USA in the past. He was so flashy and talented in his youth at the World Juniors. He played in 12 of those games with 14 points (8G 6A), he was also apart of Team North America at the World Cup in 2016-2017. I’ve talked about that stacked roster before but regardless they were fruitless. Matthews did have 3 points (2G 1A) in 3 games there. If Matthews is on his A game, he is going to be ridiculous in the Olympics.
Last but not least, we got Seth Jones. A lot of people were puzzled and mad by this one but as for the first three players to Team USA, this makes sense to me. Of course Adam Fox is going to be on this roster, that’s not a question in my mind – however, Jones has been a big part of Team USA, that’s why he’s getting picked as part of the first 3. Jones was at 2 World Championships where he’s played in 18 games with 15 (3G 12A) with a +12 rating and left with the Bronze at the 2014-15. At the 2014 Cup he was on the All-Star team, voted the best defenseman at the Championships, had the most assists and points by a defenseman, AND he was voted Top 3 on the team. At the World Cup (also with Team North America) he played 3 games with no points and a -3. Dating back even further, he put up 7 points (1G 6A) at 7 games and won the gold medal while being top 3 on the team.
Of corse Adam Fox is the Norris winner and he is 1,000% going to be on this roster but he doesn’t have the resume and reputation Jones does with Team USA. Jones is one of the first to come to mind when I think of Team USA and I’m happy he’s on this team.
I cannot wait for the Olympics. How we’re shaping up has me excited. I think these three are a great set of first choices and I am excited to see who else we get. The Olympics are so much closer than we think but I have faith in Captain Kaner to lead us to victory.
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Featured Image: Team USA