Get To Know Your Team Canada Men’s Olympic Roster
The upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang are shaping up to be rather unique. North Korea and South Korea will march together under one flag, the entire Russian team has been banned after a doping scandal (the Summit Series generation don’t seem to be too heartbroken about that one), and NHL players are not allowed to participate. The Olympics have gone back to their roots by eliminating NHL participation in the hockey event, sparking controversy across the league and hockey community. There are different sides to this issue; one side saying this waters down the talent by not sending the best players in the world, others argue this makes for more even competition. Nevertheless, this gives many players in other leagues a shot to represent their country on the world’s biggest stage. A lot of these players are relatively unknown, but some will recognize a few names of past NHLers. Here is a little background for your 2018 Olympic Men’s Hockey roster.
Goaltender: Ben Scrivens
Hometown: Spruce Grove, Alberta / Current Team: Salavat Yulaev Ufa (KHL)
Most NHL fans will probably recognize the name Ben Scrivens, whether it is for his work in the NHL or his wife’s spot on season one of Hockey Wives. Scrivens played a total of 144 games in the NHL, split between the Toronto Maple Leafs, Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers, and Montreal Canadiens. He put up a 47-64-17 record, with a .905 Save Percentage and a 2.92 Goals Against Average. Since leaving the NHL after the 2015-2016 season, he joined Minsk Dynamo of the KHL where he put together a 28-18-8 record with a .918 SV% and 2.28 GAA. The next season he signed with Salavat Yulaev Ufa. So far he has a 19-11-2 record a nearly identical SV% and GAA as the previous season. Scrivens will most likely be Canada’s go-to goaltender, but after a shaky three games in the Karjala Cup (Team Canada played three games in the Cup to gear up for the Olympics), his name in the starting position is far from written in stone. He did play all three games and has the most NHL experience in the goalie department, so the coaching staff does seem to be leaning towards him.
Goaltender: Justin Peters
Hometown: Blyth, Ontario / Current Team: Kölner Haie (DEL)
Justin Peters was drafted 38th overall in 2004 by the Carolina Hurricanes and spent 5 seasons there, finishing up his final two seasons with the Washington Capitals and Arizona Coyotes. He racked up a 25-38-9 record over 7 seasons, with a .901 SV% and 3,08 GAA. After his final season in the NHL (2016-2017), he signed a deal with Dinamo Riga of the KHL, then in October he left for Kölner Haie in the German league. In 14 games with Riga, he put up a less than stellar 2-11 record, alongside a .809 SV% and 3.48 GAA. He fared better in the DEL with a 11-11 record, .890 SV% and 2.00 GAA. Peters seems to have been struggling since breaking into professional leagues in terms of rebound control and positioning, but he can show flashes of brilliance so if he sees some playing time in the Olympics he could steal a game for the Canadians.
Goaltender: Kevin Poulin
Hometown: Montreal, Quebec / Current Team: EHC Kloten (Swiss National League)
Kevin Poulin has been quite a journeyman since leaving the NHL after the 2014-2015 season. During his NHL stint with the Islanders over 5 seasons, he put together a 18-25 record, .899 SV% and 3.09 GAA. He had brief stint in the KHL with Astana Barys putting up a modest 6-6 record with a .913 SV% and 2.66 GAA. This season he spent some time with Zagreb Medvescak KHL in the Austrian League, but as of January 14 he signed with EHC Kloten of the Swiss League. Poulin helped Canada secure the Spengler Cup in December, putting up a stellar performance in the championship game in a 3-0 win against Switzerland. He is a consistent goaltender with a great work ethic, although front of net scrambles can cause issues. The backup spot is likely where Poulin will end up.
Defenceman: Stefan Elliott
Hometown: Vancouver, B.C. / Current Team: HV71 (Swedish Hockey League)
Stefan Elliott was drafted 49th overall by the Colorado Avalanche, and split his final season in 2015-2016 with the Arizona Coyotes and Nashville Predators. In 84 games he had 8 goals and 16 assists, and was a -6 overall. This season with HV71 he put up 3 goals and 11 assists in 24 games, and a +6 rating. Elliott has definite offensive talent, but can be inconsistent in his own zone. Don’t be surprised to see him out on the power play, but don’t expect to see him out on the penalty kill very often.
Defenceman: Chay Genoway
Hometown: Morden, Manitoba / Current Team: Tolyatti Lada (KHL)
Chay Genoway went undrafted after playing 5 years at the University of North Dakota, but played a single game in 2012 for the Minnesota Wild where he tallied one assist. After 3 seasons in the minors he left for the KHL in 2014. He has bounced around the KHL, spending 4 seasons with 4 different teams. For the 2017-2018 season he is playing for Tolyatti Lada, registering 5 goals and 15 assists in 54 games, with a plus/minus of -12. Genoway stands at 5’9” and 177 pounds, but despite his size he boasts great speed and puck handling skills.
Defenceman: Cody Goloubef
Hometown: Oakville, Ontario / Current Team: Stockton Heat (AHL)
Cody Goloubef was drafted 37th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2008. He played 129 games for the Jackets, putting up 2 goals and 21 assists, and a -4 rating. He has spent this season in the minors, with a respectable 7 goals, 17 assists and +11 rating in 33 games. Goloubef was selected to the 2009 World Junior Championship squad alongside the likes of John Tavares and P.K. Subban, and came home with a gold medal. Goloubef has strong on-ice vision and hockey IQ, and is not one to back down from a fight. The downside of that is he is very prone to taking penalties, he already has 52 PIM so far this season.
Defenceman: Marc-André Gragnani
Hometown: L’Île-Bizard, Quebec / Current Team: HC Dynamo Minsk (KHL)
Marc-André Gragnani spent a total of 6 seasons in the NHL, spending time with the Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, Carolina Hurricanes, and New Jersey Devils. In 78 games, Gragnani notched 3 goals and 15 assists, and was a +4. He has spent the last two season in the KHL playing for HC Dynamo Minsk, where he has been putting up very respectable numbers. This season he has 5 goals and 27 assists in 53 games. Gragnani is a consistent defender and covers his own zone well. He will likely be the go-to guy for penalty kills and key defensive situations.
Defenceman: Chris Lee
Hometown: Mactier, Ontario / Current Team: Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)
Chris Lee is one of the two defensemen on Team Canada that has not played in the NHL. Lee was never drafted, and has bounced around the minors for about 6 years before heading overseas. He has been with Magnitogorsk Metallurg in the KHL for the past 5 seasons. He has done extremely well over those 5 seasons. In 251 games, he has racked up 44 goals and 144 assists, and an overall rating of +63. Lee is a gifted skater and is an excellent passer and shooter, so he may be used on the power play unit. He does lack aggression in his own zone so he will need to pick that up or else he may get burned down low in the corners.
Defenceman: Maxim Noreau
Hometown: Montreal, Quebec / Current Team: SC Bern (Swiss National League)
Maxim Noreau went undrafted but managed to have a cup of coffee in the NHL over two seasons for the Minnesota Wild. He played a total of 6 games, tallying no points and finished with a -1. For the past two seasons he has been playing for SC Bern in the Swiss league. This year he has been putting up impressive numbers, notching 8 goals and 16 assists in 28 games, and also coming in at +12. Noreau has a great shot and passing ability as well, but he can also hold his own in the defensive zone as well. He could quietly be one of Canada’s most reliable players in the tournament.
Defenceman: Mat Robinson
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta / Current Team: CSKA Moscow (KHL)
Mat Robinson is the other Team Canada defenceman with no NHL experience. He had a brief stint in the AHL with the Binghamton Senators, but left for the Swedish Hockey League. He spent two years there, and now has played in the KHL for the past 5 seasons. This season, Robinson scored 6 goals and 16 assists in 42 games, and has a +25 rating. Robinson has a great shot and can be the point man out on the power play, he can also skate very well. On the downside, he stands at 5’9” and 185 pounds, so his size can be an issue and he sometimes gets pushed around.
Defenceman: Karl Stollery
Hometown: Camrose, Alberta / Current Team: Dinamo Riga (KHL)
Karl Stollery has been up and down between the minors and NHL, but never stuck around the NHL for long when he was up. Over 3 seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks, and New Jersey Devils, he totalled 23 games. He put up 3 assists in those 23 games, and finished with a -5 rating. After the 2016-2017 season, he signed a deal with Dinamo Riga of the KHL. In 52 games this season, he has 3 goals and 11 assists, and is -5. Stollery is a solid two-way defenceman who can move the puck very well. He probably won’t end up on the scoresheet very often but is an effective stay at home defenceman.
Forward: René Bourque
Hometown: Lac La Biche, Alberta / Current Team: Djurgårdens IF Hockey (Swedish Hockey League)
Most hockey fans will recognize the name René Bourque, who played 13 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, Anaheim Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Colorado Avalanche. In 725 games, he amassed 163 goals and 153 assists for a total of 316 points. After last season with the Avalanche, he left for the Swedish Hockey League. In 33 games he has put up 13 goals and 8 assists. Bourque is an offensive player with a lot of NHL experience, so he will likely be out on the power play and key offensive situations.
Forward: Gilbert Brulé
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta / Current Team: Kunlun Red Star (KHL)
Gilbert Brulé also has his fair share of NHL experience, playing 299 games over 8 seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Edmonton Oilers, and Phoenix Coyotes. During that time he notched 43 goals and 52 assists, and a -39 rating. Brulé left the NHL in 2014 and started his career in the KHL, playing for 5 teams over four years. This season he split time with Chelyabinsk Traktor and Kulun Red Star. In 53 games he has 17 goals and 19 assists for a total of 36 points. Brulé was drafted 6th overall in 2005, which was the same draft class as Sidney Crosby and Carey Price. Brulé was picked before players such as Anze Kopitar, Marc Staal, Tuukka Rask and James Neal. The problem with Brulé was the Blue Jackets started him in the NHL right from the get go, without allowing him to develop; which he needed. This could be the reason to blame why he broke his sternum in his third career game, and came back only to break his leg just 10 days later. There’s no doubt Brulé has skill and talent, and he could be a surprise player for Canada this tournament.
Forward: Andrew Ebbett
Hometown: Vernon, B.C. / Current Team: SC Bern (Swiss National League)
Andrew Ebbett was a journeyman during his stint in the NHL. He played for the Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, Phoenix Coyotes, Vancouver Canucks, and Pittsburgh Penguins over the course of 8 seasons. He played 224 games in the show, totalling 26 goals and 45 assists, and a mere 50 PIM. Ebbett left the Penguins organization in 2015, and has been playing with SC Bern of the Swiss League ever since. This season he is averaging a point a game, putting up 13 goals and 32 assists in 45 games. Ebbett is a speedy player and has strong playmaking abilities, and sees the ice very well. He stands at only 5’9” so size is an issue, but he has enough guts to not get pushed around.
Forward: Quinton Howden
Hometown: Oakbank, Manitoba / Current Team: HC Dinamo Minsk (KHL)
Quinton Howden is another fairly high pick (25th overall in 2010) that couldn’t quite break into the NHL. Bowden played a total of 4 seasons with the Florida Panthers and Winnipeg Jets. In 97 games, he tallied 10 goals and 7 assists. After playing only 5 games for the Jets last season, he left for the KHL and signed with HC Dinamo Minsk. This season he has played 54 games, putting up 16 goals and 14 assists. Howden has a large frame, coming in at 6’3” and 183 pounds, so expect to see him on a checking line and to be creating traffic in front of the net. His size does not hamper his speed at all, and can be creative, so watch for little plays in the corner or in front of the net.
Forward: Chris Kelly
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario / Current Team: Belleville Senators (AHL)
Most hockey fans know of Chris Kelly, the sole player on Team Canada to win Lord Stanley’s Cup as member of the Boston Bruins in 2011. Kelly has logged 13 seasons in the NHL, spending time with the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins. In 883 career games, Kelly has amassed 123 goals and 166 assists, totalling 289 points. Kelly was not re-signed by the Sens after last season and was offered a tryout with the Edmonton Oilers, but was ultimately not signed. He then returned to the Senators organization and has played with the Belleville Senators since early January. He has played 16 games for Belleville this year, and has 2 assists. Kelly has the most NHL experience on Team Canada, and played a full 82 games for the Sens last year, so that may be an advantage since he is not far removed from the NHL. He will most likely be relied on for power play situations and critical moments in games. Kelly is a role player and can use his NHL experience to keep cool in tense situations, so expect to see a letter on his shoulder.
Forward: Rob Klinkhammer
Hometown: Lethbridge, Alberta / Current Team: Ak Bars Kazan (KHL)
Rob Klinkhammer is the epitome of never giving up on your dream. He went from a ditch digger to a full time NHL forward, all while maintaining an online education from the University of Athabasca. Once he made the NHL, he played 6 seasons for the Chicago Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators, Arizona Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Edmonton Oilers. “The Colonel” played 193 total games, racking up 22 goals and 21 assists. He left the NHL in 2016, and is now playing for Ak Bars Kazan in the KHL. In 41 games this season, he has 7 goals and 13 assists. No one can deny Klink’s work ethic, and his big frame can come in useful in corner battles. He has good hands in tight spaces, so he can be relied on to be productive in front of the net.
Forward: Brandon Kozun
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta / Current Team: Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL)
Fans of the World Junior Championship would remember Brandon Kozun, a member of the silver medal Canadian team in 2010. Kozun played 20 games for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2014, scoring two goals and two assists. After a year with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL, he left for the KHL. This season with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl he has played 52 games, notching 13 goals and 19 assists. Kozun is on the smaller side, standing at 5’8”, but his competitiveness keeps him on the ice and prevents him from being pushed around. He has great skating skills and tenacity, and will likely end up on the penalty kill unit and possibly the second power play as well.
Forward: Maxim Lapierre
Hometown: Brossard, Quebec / Current Team: Lugano (Swiss National League)
Maxim Lapierre was an NHL regular for 9 seasons, suiting up for the Montreal Canadiens, Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, and Pittsburgh Penguins. Over 614 regular season games, he totalled 65 goals and 74 assists for 139 points. After the 2014-2015 season, Lapierre left and played one year in the Swedish Hockey League, and is now in his third year playing for Lugano in the Swiss National League. This season he has 14 goals and 18 assists in 47 games. Lapierre didn’t exactly have the best reputation in the NHL, he was known for being an agitator that got himself into trouble on a few occasions. If done properly, he could channel that peskiness into throwing the opposition off their game. Nevertheless, Lapierre can play, he has offensive flair and good speed that can be put to use on the Olympic-sized ice. He may get some time on the power play and will be a good second line grinder.
Forward: Eric O’Dell
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario / Current Team: Sochi HC (KHL)
Eric O’Dell started out as a promising prospect, being drafted 39th overall in the 2008 draft by Anaheim. However, he didn’t see much time in the NHL, playing 41 games over two years with the Winnipeg Jets. During his stint in the show, he scored 3 goals and 5 assists. After a couple more years in the minors, he signed with Sochi HC of the KHL. This season he has put up 13 goals and 18 assists in 46 games. O’Dell is a good two-way centre who sees the ice well. He has great stick handling and playmaking ability, but is lacking in size and strength. O’Dell will most likely end up on the third or fourth line for Canada, but playing with the right wingmen could end up in some offensive production.
Forward: Mason Raymond
Hometown: Cochrane, Alberta / Current Team: SC Bern (Swiss National League)
Mason Raymond is another former NHL regular that was selected by Team Canada. Raymond played for the Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, and Anaheim Ducks over 10 seasons. In 546 career games, he put up a respectable 115 goals and 136 assists for a total of 251 points. This season he decided to go overseas and and sign with SC Bern of the Swiss National League. So far, Raymond has 17 goals and 17 assists in 34 games. Raymond is a good playmaker with great speed, and he will be noticeably effective in those areas on Olympic ice. He does have a slight frame however, and struggles with puck possession in aggressive battles. He is a reliable offensive producer so he will likely spend time on the power play.
Forward: Derek Roy
Hometown: Rockland, Ontario / Current Team: Linköpings HC (Swedish Hockey League)
Derek Roy has put together a rather impressive NHL resume over his career considering he has been out of the NHL for 3 years. In 738 games, he notched 189 goals and 335 assists for a total of 524 points. He bounced around the European leagues, playing in the Swiss National League and KHL before landing with Linköpings HC in the Swedish league. In 39 games this season, he scored 11 goals and 22 assists. Roy has plenty of international experience, representing Canada in the World Junior Championships, Spengler Cup (where he won gold in 2015), Deutschland Cup, and he was even invited to try out for the 2010 Olympic team in Sochi. Roy will definitely hold a leadership role on the team, considering his experience both in the NHL and internationally. He isn’t the biggest in size, but he makes up for it with his heart and grit. Roy can dazzle every once in a while, and will most likely be one of the go-to guys in big situations.
Forward: Christian Thomas
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario / Current Team: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)
Habs fans may remember Christian Thomas, he was up and down from the minor with the Montreal organization from 2013-2016. He also played a few games for the Arizona Coyotes and New York Rangers. Thomas appeared in 27 games, registering just one goal and two assists. He has spent most of his career in the minors, his last NHL action was a single game for Arizona in 2015-2016. This season with Pittsburgh’s farm team, he has played 30 games, scoring 12 goals and 9 assists. Thomas also has international experience, winning gold with Canada’s Spengler Cup team this past December. Just like his father, former NHLer Steve “Stumpy” Thomas, he stands at the same height of 5’9”, but his explosive speed definitely makes up for it. He tends to avoid the physical side of the game, so expect to see him in the slot rather than in the corners or in front of the net.
Forward: Linden Vey
Hometown: Wakaw, Saskatchewan / Current Team: Zurich SC Lions (Swiss National League)
Saskatchewan’s only player on Team Canada, Linden Vey played for the LA Kings, Vancouver Canucks, and Calgary Flames over 4 seasons. In 138 games, he put up 14 goals and 30 assists. He left for the KHL after last season, then switched to the Swiss League after his KHL team missed the postseason. In a combined 57 games, Vey tallied a respectable 19 goals and 38 assists. Vey is a skilled offensive forward, with decent size and is not afraid to carry the puck. He may be used sparingly on the power play, but most likely won’t be a regular in the unit. (Also his father was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, look it up, pretty crazy story)
Forward: Wojtek Wolski
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario / Current Team: Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)
Wojtek Wolski had a solid career that spanned over 8 seasons, suiting up for the Colorado Avalanche, Phoenix Coyotes, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, and Washington Capitals. In 451 games, he notched 99 goals and 168 assists for 267 points. He left the NHL in 2013 after being traded 3 times in 3 seasons. He bounced around for a few years, including getting traded this season from Kunlun Red Star to Metallurg Magnitogorsk. In 44 games, he put up 13 goals and 27 assists. Wolski nearly had a career ending injury, breaking his neck 15 months ago. Wolski has a big presence on the ice, coming in at 6’3” and 220 pounds, so look for him grinding it out in the corners and behind the net. He also has good hands and quick release, and can play either wing as well. Wolski will likely be the go-to utility man for Team Canada, due to his versatility and confidence because of his NHL experience.
There is your full roster for Team Canada, let’s cheer the boys on as they go for gold.