155 AHL alumni heading to Beijing Olympics

Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ... The 2022 Olympic Winter Games are underway in Beijing, China, and 155 former and current American Hockey League players have been selected to represent their countries in the men’s hockey tournament beginning later this week.

Canada boasts a tournament-high 21 AHL graduates, followed by Sweden (18), Czechia (17), Finland (16), Switzerland (13), Germany (11), the Russian Olympic Committee (11), the United States (10), China (10), Denmark (10), Latvia (nine) and Slovakia (nine).

Among the 155 alumni are nine players who have skated in the American Hockey League this season. Canada’s roster includes Adam Cracknell (Bakersfield Condors), Josh Ho-Sang (Toronto Marlies), Tyler Wotherspoon (Utica Comets), Eric Staal (Iowa Wild) and Mason McTavish (San Diego Gulls), while Team USA features Pat Nagle (Lehigh Valley Phantoms), Aaron Ness (Providence Bruins) and Justin Abdelkader (Grand Rapids Griffins). Kirill Semyonov, who played for the Toronto Marlies earlier this season, will play for the R.O.C.

A total of 17 former AHL All-Stars have been named to Olympic rosters, as have two former AHL MVP’s and scoring champions (Team USA’s Brian O’Neill and Kenny Agostino), a Calder Cup Playoffs MVP (Canada’s Jordan Weal) and an Eddie Shore Award winner as the league’s top defenseman (Canada’s Mark Barberio).

Thirteen former Calder Cup winners – representing each of the last nine league championship teams – are in Beijing. Tomas Jurco, who won titles with Grand Rapids in 2013 and Charlotte in 2019, is joined on Slovakia’s roster by 2018 champion Martin Marincin (Toronto). Canada’s Ben Street and Eddie Pasquale were teammates on Grand Rapids’ 2017 Calder Cup squad, and Team USA’s Brian O’Neill and Nick Shore both won with Manchester in 2015 along with Czechia’s Patrik Bartosak and Canada’s Jordan Weal. Czech forwards Lukas Sedlak (Lake Erie, 2016) and Matej Stransky (Texas, 2014), Canada’s Landon Ferraro (Grand Rapids, 2013) and Mark Barberio (Norfolk, 2012), and Latvia’s Kaspars Daugavins (Binghamton, 2011) are also Calder Cup champions.

Canada and the United States will both be guided by graduates of the AHL coaching ranks in Jeremy Colliton and David Quinn, respectively. Former AHL players Craig Ramsay (Slovakia), Johan Garpenlov (Sweden) and Patrick Fischer (Switzerland) will also be serving as head coaches in the tournament.

And along with the players and coaches, current AHL on-ice officials Andrew Bruggeman, Mike Campbell, Stephen Reneau, William Hancock, Dustin McCrank and Brian Oliver have been selected to officiate the men’s tournament in Beijing, while Alex Clarke, Kelly Cooke, Kendall Hanley and Elizabeth Mantha are working the women’s tournament.

The men’s tournament opens with group play on Feb. 9, and concludes with the gold-medal game on Feb. 20.