The Czech Republic will seemingly have a sneaky good squad heading into the 2022 Bejing Olympics. Littered with NHL talent and weaker grouping the Czech’s have the potential to be very entertaining but still have some question marks. Question marks like, will the ageless wonder Jaromir Jágr suit up for his third Olympic games? Or how inexperienced will this Czech team be? It is still early but let us dive into our first Czech Republic Olympic roster prediction.
Jaromír Jágr-Filip Chytil
The Czech forwards have the potential to keep themselves in games. With the offense presence of Pastrnak, Hertl, Zadina, and Vrana if his shoulder is healed up in time could be scary for opposing goaltenders. This forward group has a healthy mix of youth and seasoned veterans, having Jágr as even a forward spare would help keep the young Czech players head in the game. Even if Jagr does not see ice time during the Olympics having him in Bejing would do more good than harm.
The Czech defense is not as star-studded as their forwards but none the less it has potential. Although Kempny has struggled and currently finds himself in the AHL, much of that can be due to injuries. Guys such as Hronek, Gudas, Hajek could prove to be difference makers for the young Czech blue line.
The Czech goalies are pretty cut and clear. Mrazek should be the starter and either Vanecek or Francouz will be the backup, more likely Vanecek. Although after a great rookie campaign and a solid start to the 2021-22 season Vanecek has made a statement in being the starting netminder for the Czechs.
Like most teams, the Czech team is full of snubs. With talent such as Roman Polak, Martin Frk, Jan Jenik Martin Kaut, David Rittich just to name a few, shows the Czech’s have options and could very well be a dark horse for the bronze medal. If the Czechs’ do in fact decide to snub the best hockey player in Czech Republic history Jágr, fans could see Polak or Frk step into the open role.
The Czech Republic men’s team will take part in group B be with the likes of Russia (ROC), Switzerland, and Demark. Although group B is not the powerhouse group such as group A with Canada, USA, Germany, and China or Norway (still undetermined) group B is no easy task to get out of. The Czechs open the tournament against Denmark on February 9th, followed by a valentines day matchup with Switzerland, and finally ending the group stage on February 12th against the ROC. The ROC will undoubtedly be the Czechs’ toughest task with the likes of Alex Ovechkin and Andrei Vasilevskiy, but hopefully, with a couple of games under their belt, the Cezch Republic team can give the ROC a run for their money.
The Czech Republic team its self is still up in the air, but regardless there are a few locks to this Mrazek, Hertl, and Pastrnak will undoubtedly suit up for their home country come the Bejing 2022 Olympics. My predictions are, The Czech team finishes second in the group B standings and they will make it as far as the semifinals. Pastrnak will finish the tournament top 10 in goal-scoring well linemate Tomas Hertl rakes up assist centering Pastrnak and Vrana, assuming Vrana is healthy. The Czech Republic may not be a team hockey fans will watch in the gold medal game but they are an intriguing young team to follow throughout the Olympics.
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