Taking the time to examine the members of the Chicago Blackhawks that we could potentially see out on the ice in Sochi has led to a lot of anticipation for the Winter Olympic games. It is always endlessly exciting to see teammates playing each other and enemies united together to represent their countries.
The Blackhawks roster has on it a fair share of Swedish players who are generally known for their incredible hockey skill. The Swedish hockey team will play host to arguably one of the best goalies on the planet in Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers. His presence in the net could easily make the Swedes a contender for gold in Sochi.
That being said, the players who hail from Sweden who skate in the NHL with a Blackhawks sweater could easily see time in Sochi as well. The likes of Niklas Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya and Marcus Kruger have been mentioned for spots on the Swedish squad.
The projected team lists currently have Hjalmarsson as the only player for the Blackhawks expected to play. Hjalmarsson is an incredible defensive presence out on the ice and will work well with a solid defensive backbone in the absence of a not so strong offense up the middle.
Oduya represented his country back in 2010, so it seems natural that he would make an appearance once again as he is still a phenomenal player. However, many new talents have come into the picture to strengthen Sweden’s blue line in the last four years. Oduya is still a possibility, but only time will tell.
As for Kruger, it could be experience that limits his selection to the squad. He is a relatively young center with statistics that are simply not as impressive and as consistent as other players from his home country.
All three of these skaters have contributed in some way to the success of the Chicago Blackhawks’ winning season last year when they hoisted the Stanley Cup above their heads. A winning pedigree is impressive and important for a team that finished fifth in Vancouver and is looking to win big and bounce back in Sochi.