Men’s Ice Hockey
Where: Gangneung Hockey Centre, Kwandong Hockey Centre.
After: February 10-25
Favorites: Olympic Athletes from Russia (+100), Canada (+450), Sweden (+450)
The men’s Olympic hockey takes on a totally different complexion this year, together with NHL players ineligible to compete. So, you’d better brush up on your Continental Hockey League (KHL) knowledge, since that’s where the majority of players getting involved in this championship are enjoying their competitive hockey.
It’ll come as no surprise to bettors that the Olympic Athletes from Russia – do we really have to call them , by the way? – are most talented roster from the contest, boasting the strangest and the favorites. A whopping 15 players come in SKA Saint Petersburg of their KHL, such as legendary forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk and up-and-comer Vadim Shipachyov.
Canada is a co-runner-up at the odds department at +450. The two-time defending Olympic champions were the nation most negatively affected by the shortage of NHL representation, but still have a gifted roster relative to the rest of the field. Stars include former NHL 20-goal scorer Wojtek Wolski, longtime Buffalo Sabre Derek Roy, and one-time No. 3 pick Gilbert Brule.
Sweden is the other co-runner-up in +450, and should give Canada a serious run for the money in the battle for silver. The Swedes are not as heavy or as talented up front as the Russians or Canadians, but boast an impressive defense corps led by consensus No. 1 draft prospect Rasmus Dahlin plus a talented goaltending trio that includes ex-NHLer Jhonas Enroth.
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