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The quarterfinals of the 2022 Beijing Men’s Olympic ice hockey are live. A stunning upset from Team Slovakia saw Team USA eliminated from the tournament in a shootout. For now, it appears that most of the matchups are set in stone. But where do you go from here — and who should you root for from here? If you’re looking to cheer on former Red Wings, your answer may lie in Team Canada.
Those who avidly watched the Red Wings of the early 2010s might recognize Landon Ferraro on the ice. The son of Islanders legend Ray Ferraro, Landon is on the path to earn his first-ever Olympic medal. Others may look to Team Sweden for companionship. Jacob de la Rose and Matthias Brome, both Red Wings for a season or less, headline Sweden’s roster. The winner of the Canada-Sweden matchup will play against Team Finland, who strung together a dominant performance against Team Switzerland.
But, if your country has been eliminated in the tournament, who should you root for from here? If you don’t have any team to follow, and you’re looking for a way to spice up the fun, DraftKings is made for just these sort of things. Bold predictions, big upsets, and more can help you make it big.
Why you should root for them: If you’re following from the United States, it’s always fun to support your siblings to the North. Plus, you get to cheer on guys like Josh Ho-Sang, who have hunted for big opportunities like this for their entire NHL career. If the Canadians win Gold, you’ll get to see Ferraro and Grand Rapids Griffins alumni Ben Street earn recognition for the hard work they’ve put into their hockey careers.
There are a handful of “what if”s on this roster. Vadim Shipachyov, Anton Slepyshev, and Nikita Gusev make up players that were (and are) too good for the KHL, but not good enough for the NHL. It’s a strange spot to be in — and those talents will be put to good use against the shallow pools of players the rest of the Olympics have to offer. The ROC is stacked with strongmen from the KHL — and they’ll look to make a huge impact on the ice these coming days.
Remember Patrick Rybar? This tournament is full of former Red Wings and Griffins. The Slovakian netminder is just out of this world, putting a powerful Team USA to a halt in the shootout. Now, the Slovakian underdogs will fight for their lives against the best of the best — and they might just be able to pull this one off. Keep an eye out for Simon Nemec. The 2022 draft-eligible prospect is just 18 years old and has played exceptionally well against men in the Olympics. He’s projected to go top-five in most drafts, and he’d be an outstanding addition to the Red Wings.
Hey hey! Valtteri Filppula is still in this! Filppula is one of the leaders on this well-balanced Team Finland roster. He, Marcus Granlund, and Leo Komarov make up the veteran core of a team that knows its way around long, grueling tournaments. For any regular watchers of the Griffins, don’t worry — Finland has you covered on that front, too. Harri Sateri is Team Finland’s starting netminder. This is likely Filppula’s last chance to go for Gold. If you’ve been a fan of his game through the best of his career, this may be your last shot to root for something big for him.
The ROC isn’t the only one that tapped the KHL. Team Sweden brings with it Anton Lander, a former Edmonton Oiler, among a handful of other talented players. While eyes may focus on ex-Carolina Hurricane Marcus Kruger, Red Wings fans will likely watch out for Jacob de la Rose and Matthias Brome. While neither of them will likely ever wear the Winged Wheel again, it’s always nice to see alumni succeeding. Getting a Gold for de la Rose, especially after what he’s been through with his mother, would be the perfect punctual mark on this moment in his life.