4 Edmonton Oilers Who Will Have a Major Impact on 2014 Olympics in Sochi
The Edmonton Oilers are a talented young hockey club, but when it comes to international competition, it is usually hard for younger players to crack rosters already loaded with established superstars.
Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle were named to the Canadian selection camp by Hockey Canada. While it may be a long shot to make the Canadian squad due to the depth of talent available, both players could have major impacts if selected.
In the end, Edmonton may only have one or two players who will make the trip to Sochi to play for their countries; however, here is a list of four Oilers who, if selected to compete, will have a major impact on the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
Ales Hemsky would like nothing better than to have a strong showing at the Olympic Games in Sochi Russia this season.
The talented winger has been subject to much trade speculation and a breakout performance could go a long way to convincing potential suitors that he still possesses the type of all-world talent that Oilers fans have come to know.
Potentially pairing Hemsky with a player like Jaromir Jagr could produce a lethal attack for a talented Czech team.
After an impressive rookie campaign, Nail Yakupov will be looking to avoid the sophomore slump during the 2013-2014 season, and a chance to play for Russia in his home country may be the spark necessary to ignite the talented sniper.
With players from both the NHL and the KHL selected to the Russian training camp, Yakupov may be considered a long shot to make the final team, but if selected, he could be yet another dynamic scoring threat to an already potent Russian team.
Yakupov is the type of player who can utilize his speed on the larger international ice surface to find the holes in the opposition in order to capitalize on a lightning-quick release and a deadly one-time shot.
It will be extremely hard for Hockey Canada to ignore the international heroics that Jordan Eberle has already accumulated in his short career.
Aside from the "Golden Goal" scored by Sidney Crosby during the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, Eberle may have one of the most memorable goals in recent Team Canada history, and his clutch performances may be just enough to help him make the team.
If Eberle were to make the team, he will likely slot into a third- or fourth-line role, but considering the talent he will be surrounded with, it shouldn’t be a problem for the gifted playmaker to generate plenty of scoring opportunities for himself and for his teammates.
Taylor Hall has perhaps the strongest chance of any Edmonton Oilers player to make an Olympic roster, as the feisty winger combines speed, skill and tenacity and would be an excellent addition to the Team Canada roster.
Due to his age Hall may serve as the last forward selected, but would also make an ideal addition to one of Canada’s bottom two lines.
Considering that Hall is one of the better left wing invitees selected by the Hockey Canada brass and thanks to his adaptability, he could quite well end up seeing his name called when the final selections are made.
Hall is a dynamic forward and his speed would be a tremendous asset to the team, but it is his willingness to back-check and his growing defensive zone presence that may help his case.