With the recent announcement that NHL players will take part in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the Carolina Hurricanes are sure to have a few representatives in the tournament.
Today we’ll look at the forwards that could play:
Eric Staal: The oldest Staal brother was part of the 2010 Gold-winning Canadian team scoring six points in seven games. As usual, the Canada team will be stacked and making the team will not be easy, but if Staal continues his upward swing in production he has seen over the past two seasons, it’s likely he’ll make the team. With Canada’s depth at center, Staal may have to switch to one of the wings in the tournament.
Alexander Semin: The Russian forward should be a lock to play in the Olympics, after representing Russia in 2010. Semin’s had a few rough years since then, but scored at a point-per-game pace last season and improved on his defensive play, which could be valuable to the Russians.
Jeff Skinner: Another Canada hopeful, Skinner stands an outside chance at a spot on the roster. His scoring has decreased over the past two seasons and will need a quick start to next season to earn a spot in the Olympics. However, he did represent Canada at the World Championships this past summer.
Tuomo Ruutu: Given Finland’s inferior offensive depth to other countries like Canada and the United States, Ruutu stands a good chance of representing his native country again in 2014. Ruutu won a bronze medal in the 2010 Olympics and brings a physical game that is not as common among Finland’s forwards.
Jiri Tlusty: Tlusty represented the Czech Republic in the World Championships for the first time since 2005, but will most likely be wearing his native sweater again in February for the Olympics. The left-winger saw a huge increase in his points last season and will add scoring depth to the Czech Republic team.
On Wednesday we’ll look at the defensemen and goaltenders that could take part in Sochi.