McDavid, Matthews, Pastrnak among those chosen for 2022 Beijing Olympics

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Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and David Pastrnak lead a list of NHL players who were the first three submitted by their respective countries to play at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

In advance of NHL player participation in the 2022 Olympics, the IIHF, NHL and NHL Players’ Association requested each of the participating teams to provide a list of three provisional NHL players to be included on each national team roster. Provided these players are healthy and remain eligible to participate, they will be included in the final team rosters that will be announced in January.

Each team will submit a list of 55 players who will be candidates for the Olympics on Oct. 15.

The tournament begins on Feb. 9 when the Russian Olympic Committee plays Switzerland (3:40 a.m. ET), the Czech Republic plays Denmark (8:10 a.m. ET), and Sweden plays Latvia (11:10 p.m. ET).

The NHL and NHLPA reached an agreement with the IIHF for NHL players to participate in the Olympics after the NHL skipped the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. The 2021-22 NHL regular season will pause from Feb. 3-22 for the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

This will be the first Olympics for McDavid, who is captain of the Edmonton Oilers and won the Hart Trophy last season voted as NHL most valuable player when he led the NHL in scoring with 105 points (33 goals, 72 assists) in 56 games. The 24-year-old helped Canada win the 2016 IIHF World Championship and played for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey 2016.

Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Alex Pietrangelo (Vegas Golden Knights) were the other names submitted for Canada. Crosby, the Penguins captain, scored in overtime of the gold medal game to give Canada a 3-2 victory against the United States at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The 34-year-old center was Canada’s captain at the Sochi Olympics and the World Cup, each won by Canada.

Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs), who was named to the United States roster, will also be playing in his first Olympics. The 24-year-old center led the NHL in goals (41) in 52 games last season and has scored 199 in five NHL seasons. He was joined by Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane and defenseman Seth Jones.

Pastrnak (Boston Bruins), who was named to the Czech Republic roster, will play in his first Olympics. The 25-year-old forward scored 48 points (20 goals, 28 assists) in 48 games last season. He was joined by forwards Ondrej Palat (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Jakub Voracek (Columbus Blue Jackets).

Sweden and Finland also announced their first three names on Thursday. Latvia, Switzerland, Germany, Slovakia, the Russian Olympic Committee, Denmark and China have yet to be announced.

Here are the players selected for the 2022 Olympics so far:

Canada: Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, Alex Pietrangelo

Czech Republic: Ondrej Palat, David Pastrnak, Jakub Voracek

Finland: Sebastian Aho (Carolina Hurricanes), Aleksander Barkov (Florida Panthers), Mikko Rantanen (Colorado Avalanche)

Sweden: Victor Hedman (Lightning), Gabriel Landeskog (Avalanche), Mika Zibanejad (New York Rangers)

United States: Seth Jones, Patrick Kane, Auston Matthews

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