Projecting Which Blue Jackets Will Represent Their Countries In Beijing

By Jacob Nitzberg on September 4, 2021 at 11:00 am
BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA - MAY 13: #93 Jakub Voracek (CZE) in action during the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Slovakia group game between Russia and Czech Republic at Ondrej Nepela Arena on May 13, 2019 in Bratislava, Slovakia.
RvS.Media/Robert Hradil/Getty Images

Yesterday, the NHL announced that players would be allowed to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Today, it's time to think about which Blue Jackets could be representing their country in February, starting with the United States' neighbors to the north.


  • Max Domi (Very Unlikely)
  • Boone Jenner (Very Unlikely)
  • Tyler Angle (Very Unlikely)
  • Brendan Gaunce (Very Unlikely)
  • Trey Fix-Wolansky ((Very Unlikely)
  • Justin Danforth (Very Unlikely)
  • Liam Foudy (Very Unlikely)
  • Tyler Sikura (Very Unlikely)
  • Zac Rinaldo (Very Unlikely)
  • Jacob Christiansen (Very Unlikely)
  • Jake Bean (Very Unlikely)
  • Scott Harrington (Very Unlikely)

The Blue Jackets won't have anyone on Team Canada, who is stacked with talent. Their forwards include Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, Brad Marchand, Sidney Crosby, Patrice Bergeron, Brayden Point, Mark Stone, Mitch Marner, and more. Defensively, they have Cale Makar, Dougie Hamilton, and a whole lot more. 

Good luck to everyone else.


The Blue Jackets do not have anyone eligible to represent China.

Czech Republic 

  • Jakub Voracek (Very Likely)
  • Stanislav Svozil (Very Unlikely)

Voracek has logged 62 games at the international level, tallying 12-36-48. He'll be in Beijing. 


  • Oliver Bjorkstrand (Very Likely)

Unless Bjorkstrand gets injured, he'll be in Beijing with the Danish national team. Last weekend, he tallied 3-2-5 in three games as Denmark defeated Slovenia, South Korea, and Norway to punch their first-ever ticket to the Olympic Games.


  • Patrik Laine (Very Likely)
  • Mikko Lehtonen (Very Likely)
  • Joonas Korpisalo (Unlikely)

Laine will be in Beijing. He's tallied 7-5-12 in 13 games at the senior level for Finland, and those goals and assists came five years ago when he was just 18. Lehtonen is also very likely to make the team after his strong play in the KHL with Jokerit. He hasn't shown too much at the NHL level yet, but he figures to be a solid third-pairing defenseman for the Blue Jackets.

Unfortunately for Korpisalo, his slide coincides with the rise of Kevin Lankinen. With Juuse Saros and Anti Raanta also available, Korpisalo is unlikely to make the trip to Beijing.


The Blue Jackets do not have anyone eligible to represent Germany.


  • Elvis Merzlikins (Very Likely)

Merzlikins will likely be the number-one goaltender for Latvia. They finished eighth in the 2014 games, so they'll be looking to improve upon that this winter.


  • Vladislav Gavrikov (Very Likely)
  • Yegor Chinakhov (Very Unlikely)
  • Daniil Tarasov (Very Unlikely)

Gavrikov has played 41 games for Russia at the senior level, and he'll play more in Beijing. Chinakhov and Tarasov aren't at that level yet, but they could be in four years' time.


  • Samuel Knazko (Very Likely)

At the age of 19, Knazko will likely be headed to Beijing to represent Slovakia. The Blue Jackets' 2020 third-round pick has a bright future ahead of him.


  • Gustav Nyquist (Likely)
  • Emil Bemstrom (Very Unlikely)
  • Kevin Stenlund (Very Unlikely)
  • Adam Boqvist (Very Unlikely)
  • Gabriel Carlsson (Very Unlikely)

If Nyquist wasn't coming off of a shoulder injury and the subsequent surgery, he would be upgraded to "very likely." However, that's not the case, and Sweden has a deep, talented pool of players to choose from. 

Adam Boqvist will likely be in the conversation in four years, and Emil Bemstrom still has time to figure out his game before then, too.


  • Dean Kukan (Very Likely)
  • Gregory Hofmann (Very Likely)
  • Tim Berni (Very Unlikely)

Kukan is a top-pairing defenseman for the Swiss, and Gregory Hoffman has been a mainstay on the national team as well.

United States 

  • Zach Werenski (Very Likely)
  • Josh Dunne (Very Unlikely)
  • Sean Kuraly (Very Unlikely)
  • Nathan Gerbe (Very Unlikely)
  • Carson Meyer (Very Unlikely)
  • Eric Robinson (Very Unlikely)
  • Jack Roslovic (Very Unlikely)
  • Cole Sillinger (Very Unlikely)
  • Gavin Bayreuther (Very Unlikely)
  • Andrew Peeke (Very Unlikely)
  • Cam Johson (Very Unlikely)

While the Blue Jackets have a lot of Americans on their roster, the only one who is likely to take a trip to Beijing in February is Werenski. He's only played two games at the senior level for the U.S., but he's one of the best defensemen in the country and should be rewarded with a place on the Olympic roster.