MOSCOW, October 19. /TASS/. Some 100 players are on the extended roster of the Russian national ice hockey team for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, the team’s Head Coach Alexei Zhamnov told TASS on Tuesday.
"We previously named three players and have now submitted an extended roster," Zhamnov said in an interview with TASS. "It [the roster] includes players from the NHL and, just in case, players from the KHL - about 100 players in total."
"I believe that we will have an understanding regarding the roster after January 10 if something happens and NHL players will not travel [to China], although I doubt it," he said. "Probably, the organizers will tell us about the deadline for announcing the rosters."
According to the head coach, the proportion of NHL and KHL players in the extended roster is almost fifty-fifty.
"We are considering all candidacies - from defenders to forwards and wingers," Zhamnov said. "It should be understood that a balance is required here, so that we have high-class players and those, who can play in the defense."
At the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang, the Russian national ice hockey team played under the status of the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) and eventually won the Olympic gold defeating Germany 4-3 in sudden death overtime of the final match.
The ice hockey competition at the 2022 Olympics in Beijing will run between February 9 and 20. The team of Russian ice hockey players was seeded in Group B along with the squads from Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Denmark. Team ROC (the Russian Olympic Committee) will play its Group B matches against Switzerland on February 9, Denmark - on February 11 and the Czech Republic - on February 12.
The national ice hockey federations had to announce at least three names of their players before October 8, who were set to travel to China for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Eleven out of 12 national teams (except hosts China) already announced the names of their three selected players.
The press service of the Russian Hockey Federation (RHF) stated on October 8 that Russia’s NHL hockey stars Alexander Ovechkin, Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevsky were the first players to enter the roster of their national team for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in China.
Ovechkin, 36, plays for NHL club Washington Capitals. He is currently ranked 5th on the NHL All-Time Goals Leaders list. The Russian player is also the 2018 Stanley Cup winner and 2008, 2012, 2014 IIHF World Championships gold medalist, in addition to his two silver and four bronze medals from the world championships.
Russian forward of Tampa Bay Lighting club Nikita Kucherov, 28, led his club to win the Stanley Cup in 2020 and 2021. He was named the best forward of the playoff series in 2020 having booked 34 points (seven goals and 27 assists) in the 25-game postseason run to the Stanley Cup in 2020. Kucherov also holds the record of the most points scored by a Russian-born player in a single NHL season (128).
Andrei Vasilevsky, 27, is a Russian goalkeeper playing for NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning club. He is a two-time winner of the Stanley Cup. Two years ago he was awarded the Vezina Trophy as the best goalkeeper of the US-based league. Playing for his national side at the 2017 and 2019 IIHF World Championships he was awarded the title of the best goalkeeper.