Patrick Kane, Auston Matthews and Seth Jones are the first names submitted to be part of the United States men’s hockey team at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
The remainder of the 25-player team is expected to be unveiled in January. The United States is scheduled to begin play in the tournament against host China on Feb. 10.
“It’s no secret we’re excited about the prospects of our team for the 2022 Games,” said Stan Bowman, general manager of the United States team who holds the same position for the Chicago Blackhawks. “Patrick, Auston and Seth reflect the high level of talent that will make up our final roster as we strive to bring gold back home to the U.S.”
Kane, a 32-year-old Blackhawks forward, is the 13th player to be selected to at least three Olympic teams. The three-time Stanley Cup champion (2010, 2013, 3015) is entering his 15th season in the NHL, all with Chicago. He helped the United States win silver at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 2014 Sochi Olympics and was captain of the team that finished third at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.
The No. 1 pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, Kane has won the Calder Trophy (2008) voted as NHL rookie of the year, the Conn Smythe Trophy (2013) voted most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the 2016 Hart Trophy voted as NHL MVP and Art Ross Trophy after leading the NHL with 106 points (46 goals, 60 assists).
Matthews, a 24-year-old center for the Toronto Maple Leafs, will participate in his first Olympics. He played for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey 2016, led the NHL last season with 41 goals and won the Calder Trophy in 2017. The No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft is one goal from 200 in his NHL career.
Jones, a 27-year-old defenseman for Chicago, will also make his first Olympic appearance. He has represented the United States on five occasions, most recently a third-place finish at the 2015 World Championship and played for the team that won the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. He was traded to the Blackhawks by the Columbus Blue Jackets on July 23 and signed an eight-year, $76 million contract seven days later.
“This is just an absolute honor,” Jones said. “I’ve had the chance to play for Team USA a few times growing up, under-18s in World Juniors and World Championships and things like that. This definitely hits a little differently since it’s the Olympics and it’s exciting that the NHL is going this year.”
Sebastian Aho, Aleksander Barkov and Mikko Rantanen were the first names submitted Thursday to be part of the Finland men’s hockey team. Ondrej Palat, David Pastrnak and Jakub Voracek
were the first sent Thursday to for the Czech Republic team. Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid and Alex Pietrangelo were the first sent Sunday to be part of the Canada men’s hockey team. Mika Zibanejad, Victor Hedman and Gabriel Landeskog were the first submitted Wednesday for the Sweden men’s hockey team.