Columbus Blue Jackets: Who Would Play in the Olympics?

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 24: Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky
COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 24: Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky /

The NHL is not sending players to the Olympic Games in 2018, which is likely disappointing news to at least a few Columbus Blue Jackets. On top of that, even if players were allowed the go; the recent news of Russia being banned from the 2018 Games would have made things difficult for more than one Blue Jacket.

The Columbus Blue Jackets would have quite a few candidates to make Olympic teams this year, however with the news that the NHL will not send anyone to PyeongChang it is now all just speculation. The two almost guaranteed players to make their Olympic team from the Blue Jackets would also face another obstacle if they were allowed to go; a national ban.

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Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky are Columbus’s two superstars at the moment and there is no chance that Russia would pass on them even with the abundance of talent in the KHL. Bobrovsky is on the verge of proving that he is currently the best goaltender in the entire NHL, which is no easy feat; however a second straight Vezina trophy may do the trick. Panarin on the other hand is finally reaching the skill level that Blue Jackets fans have wanted to see all season; and is starting to show he can be a superstar without Patrick Kane.

After that, it becomes a bit more questionable. Cam Atkinson and Zach Werenski certainly have the skill to play for the United States, however so do an overabundance of NHL players, Werenski would certainly make it in 2022 however.

Prior to the start of the 2017-2018 season, Alexander Wennberg would’ve likely been a lock to make team Sweden; however both the Columbus Blue Jackets and team Sweden would certainly be disappointed with his start to the year.

If team Denmark were to qualify for Olympic hockey for the first time ever, Oliver Bjorkstrand would have been a lock to make the team; however they failed to qualify once again.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have a multitude of players at an Olympic skill level, but with all the factors at play; only two would have seemed to be guaranteed to make their respective teams. Team Russia would’ve likely been a Blue Jackets fan favorite, as odd as that may sound.