Men’s Ice Hockey
Where: Gangneung Hockey Centre, Kwandong Hockey Centre.
When: February 10-25
Favorites: Olympic Athletes from Russia (+100), Canada (+450), Sweden (+450)
The men’s Olympic hockey tournament 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) understanding, because that’s where the majority of players taking part in this championship are playing their competitive hockey.
It will come as no surprise to bettors the Olympic Athletes out of Russia – do we really have to call them , incidentally? – would be most talented roster from the competition, minding the deepest and the favorites. A whopping 15 players come in SKA Saint Petersburg of the KHL, including legendary forward Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk and up-and-comer Vadim Shipachyov.
Canada is a co-runner-up in the odds department at +450. The two-time defending Olympic champions were the country most negatively impacted by the shortage of NHL representation, but still have a talented roster comparative to the rest of the field. Stars comprise former NHL 20-goal scorer Wojtek Wolski, longtime Buffalo Sabre Derek Roy, and one-time No. 3 pick Gilbert Brule.
Sweden is another co-runner-up at +450, and ought to give Canada a serious run for the money in the struggle for silver. The Swedes aren’t too deep or as talented up front as the Russians or Canadians, but boast an impressive defense corps headed by consensus No. 1 draft prospect Rasmus Dahlin and a talented goaltending trio that includes ex-NHLer Jhonas Enroth.
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