Ice hockey men Olympics 2018 Odds
Who wins men's ice hockey during winter olympics 2018?
The 2018 Olympics in South Korea could be the most interesting Men's Hockey tournament in years. For the last eight years, Canada has been on top of the hockey world. This year, with the NHL refusing to let any player with an NHL contract participate in the Olympics, the door is wide open.
Canada's chance at it's fifth gold medal in the last six tournaments took a serious hit after the NHL's choice. Canada's roster will be filled with former NHLers; men who can't make it in the world's best league anymore. While names like Ben Scrivens, Sim Despres, Rene Bourque, and Mason Raymond would be familiar to Canadian fans, its the names that they don't know which make Canada's chances at gold very slim. With players like Brandon Kozun (20 NHL games), Greg Scott (0 NHL games), Mat Robinson (0 NHL games), and Maxim Noreau (0 NHL games) likely to make the team, it will be very interesting to see if Canada can even challenge for a medal.
Sweden will make noise at next year's Olympic games. With names like Jonas Enroth, Anton Lander, and Robert Nilson leading the way, Sweden will continue to play a Swedish brand of hockey, full of smart plays, a tight defence, and remarkable goaltending. While many of Sweden's players have not graced NHL ice, they have been honing their craft for years on international ice, which is bigger than standard NHL ice. This will lend a serious advantage to quick European players. Sweden also boasts the consensus #1 pick in the 2018 NHL draft, Rasmus Dahlin on their backend, who will no doubt be an impact player.
Due to the rise of the KHL in recent years, Russia would be the odds on favourite to take home gold in Men's Hockey at the 2018 Olympics, if they hadn’t been banned from competition. With former NHL stars such as Slava Voynov, Mikhail Grigorenko, Valeriy Nichuskin, and the hottest goalie prospect outside the NHL, Ilya Sorokin, Russian athletes (playing under the flag, Olympic Athletes from Russia, or OAR) have the best chance to run away with next year's tournament. All of their players would be clean athletes from the KHL, highly regarded as the second best league in the world, while the best North American players are playing in the NHL, AHL, or CHL (who's contracts with the NHL would make them ineligible to play in the Olympics). With the added pressure from players like Alex Ovechkin, and Evgeni Malkin saying they would defect to play for the OAR at the 2018 games, OAR would easily be the strongest team in the tournament; that is, depending on which athletes test clean before the Winter Games.