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Top 5 Players to Watch on Canada's Men's Olympic Team

Canada unveiled its 25-player roster for Beijing, bringing a mix of savvy veterans and young guns alike. Here's a look at five key players to keep an eye on for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
Eric Staal

Oh, Canada? Oh boy!

The 2022 Winter Olympics won't feature NHLers just like we saw in 2018. After a shocking loss to Germany in the semifinal, Canada ended up with a bronze, marking one of the biggest upsets in modern Olympic hockey history. 

Now, Canada is looking for another chance at gold - and they're definitely looking like one of the favorites.

Canada unveiled its 25-player roster for Beijing on Tuesday, bringing a mix of savvy veterans and young guns alike. If all goes well, Canada should factor into championship conversation, even if it's not as much of a slam dunk as if Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon were doing the damage.

Here's a look at five notable names to watch on Canada's Olympic team:

Eric Staal, F
Staal only has four games to his credit with the AHL's Iowa Wild, but it's been an absolute success with five points. At 37, Staal is far from the player that had six points in seven Olympic games in 2010. But his veteran presence will be well-received on a Canadian team with some significant youth voices. If this is indeed the swan song of his career, he's picking one heck of a platform to say goodbye.

Owen Power, D
Few players started the World Junior Championship as strongly as Power, who became the first Canadian defenseman to score a hat-trick when he hit a trio against Czechia. Power has had a quiet few games since returning to the University of Michigan with just three points in the past six games, but with 26 in 24 contests this year, it's been an immensely successful season for the top pick from the 2020 draft. Buffalo Sabres fans have to be thrilled with Power's progression. After great performances at the U-20 and World Championship level, he's ready to check off another significant piece for his resume.

Devon Levi, G
Name a goalie prospect having a better season - good luck. Levi has been unstoppable in the NCAA this season and ultimately made it impossible for him to not make Team Canada. Canada is very familiar with him, with Levi putting on near-historic performances at both the World Junior A Challenge and World Junior Championship over the past few years. As a college player, it's hard to believe he'd go if he didn't have a realistic shot at being the starter. Edward Pasquale has been great in the NHL the past three years, but Levi has to be trending towards the No. 1 spot right now.

Corban Knight, F
The top-scoring Canadian in the KHL, Knight will be an important presence in the top six. Knight has some NHL experience with Calgary, Florida and Philadelphia, but he's found a real home in the KHL with Avangard Omsk. He already has 48 points in 47 games and was instrumental in helping Omsk win the KHL title last season. Knight played well in Euro Hockey Tour action with Canada this year and should provide decent speed and strength to the top six.

Brandon Gormley, D 
While Gormley hasn't represented Canada much over the past decade, he almost always was one of his team's top scorers despite being a defenseman. Whether it be the Spengler Cup, the U-18 World Championship, World Junior Championship or the Channel One Cup, his coaches always like to give him a prominent role with the disk and it works. Gormley's NHL career never really panned out in Arizona and Colorado, but he's paved out a solid career in Europe. Canada's defense is a mixed bag, but Gormley should be an important piece of it.

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