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Canada Olympic Hockey Team 2018: Men's Top Players, Uniforms and More

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2018

Former Boston Bruins forward Chris Kelly will captain Team Canada in the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Former Boston Bruins forward Chris Kelly will captain Team Canada in the 2018 Winter Olympics.Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

Canada's men will vie for their third straight gold medal at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games without superstar assistance.

For the first time since 1994, active NHL players will not participate in the Winter Olympics. No longer led by Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos and Carey Price, Canada has forfeited its customary status as the heavy favorite. 

The country has nevertheless composed an experienced roster of professionals, many of whom have logged NHL reps. While he's no Crosby, 37-year-old captain Chris Kelly tallied 188 points over 13 NHL seasons and won the 2011 Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins.

Courtesy of Team Canada's official site and Twitter account, respectively, let's look at the squad's roster and uniform before its Olympic run begins against Switzerland. 

                

Team Canada Men's Hockey Roster/Uniform

Goaltenders

Kevin Poulin, Medvescak Zagreb (EBEL)

Justin Peters, Kolner Haie (DEL)

Ben Scrivens, Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)

               

Forwards

Rene Bourque, Djurgardens IF (SHL)

Gilbert Brule, Kunlun Red Star (KHL)

Andrew Ebbett, SC Bern (NLA)

Quinton Howden, Dinamo Minsk (KHL)

Chris Kelly, Belleville Senators (AHL)

Rob Klinkhammer, Ak Bars Kazan (KHL)

Brandon Kozun, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL)

Maxim Lapierre, HC Lugano (NLA)

Eric O'Dell, HK Sochi (KHL)

Mason Raymond, SC Bern (NLA)

Derek Roy, Linkoping HC (SHL)

Christian Thomas, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)

Linden Vey, ZSC Lions (NLA)

Wojtek Wolski, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)

                    

Defensemen

Stefan Elliott, HV71 (SHL)

Chay Genoway, Lada Togliatti (KHL)

Cody Goloubef, Stockton Heat (AHL)

Marc-Andre Gragnani, Dinamo Minsk (KHL)

Chris Lee, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)

Maxim Noreau, SC Bern (NLA)

Mat Robinson, CSKA Moscow (KHL)

Karl Stollery, Dinamo Riga (KHL)

              

Team Canada @TeamCanada

It's here! #TeamCanada's hockey teams will be wearing this jersey in #PyeongChang2018. 🇨🇦🏒 https://t.co/EfmUacQnYP

          

Olympic Preview

Canada's men have won gold in the last two Olympics.
Canada's men have won gold in the last two Olympics.Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

NHL fans will still know plenty of Team Canada's representatives. Perhaps the most notable of the bunch is Derek Roy, who registered 189 goals and 355 assists over 11 seasons. 

While the 34-year-old center is a decade removed from 2007-08's 81-point campaign with the Buffalo Sabres, he has stayed spry, with 33 points and a plus-19 net rating in 39 Swedish Hockey League games.

Rene Bourque, who scored 27 goals for the Calgary Flames in both 2009-10 and 2010-11, joins Kelly and Roy to form a veteran nucleus. The owner of one goal in 27 NHL games scattered across four seasons, Christian Thomas is Canada's youngest participant at age 25.

Canada also has plenty of seasoned players to shield the net. Goaltenders Justin Peters, Kevin Poulin and Ben Scrivens all have NHL experience, albeit as reserves. Scrivens notched a .905 save percentage in 144 career games, including a then-record 59-save shutout for the Edmonton Oilers four years ago.

The Hockey News' Matt Larkin believes the deep group gives Canada three intriguing options in Pyeongchang, South Korea:

With respective NHL save percentages of .904 and .899, Peters and Poulin should compete for meaningful playing time. Yet Scrivens also allowed a minuscule 2.29 goals per contest in the KHL. He should receive the starting nod in Thursday's opener.

Although bigger names highlight the rest of the roster, head coach Willie Desjardins identified a lesser-known group of defensemen as the team's backbone. He praised a speedy unit rife with KHL talent to Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star.

"I don't know if the names are recognizable, but they're certainly good players," Desjardins said. "I think it's a great D corps. I think it's been one of the strengths of our team throughout. They're mobile, and I think you like that on a big ice surface."

In 2009, Cody Goloubef won gold for Canada's world junior team, which Desjardins coached. Although the 2008 NHL draft No. 37 pick scored two goals during an underwhelming NHL career, the 28-year-old has notched 17 points in 37 games for the AHL's Stockton Heat.

"It's unbelievable," Goloubef told Feschuk of his Olympic opportunity. "It's a place I don't think many of us thought we'd ever be."

A sage group of scorers and athletic defenders should at least reserve Canada a spot at the podium. Without its elite crop of NHL headliners, it may instead settle for silver or bronze behind the Olympic Athletes from Russia.

              

Statistics obtained from hockeydb.com.

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