Beijing Winter Olympics will be launched with an opening ceremony on 4th of February. Most countries have already chosen their athletes to participate in different sports and activities. Winter Olympics in general, and ice hockey in particular are important for Finns, who are good at winter sports.
Yesterday, Finland finally unveiled the list of 25 players of its ice-hockey team who will compete for gold in Beijing next month. The team includes many NHL talents.
The forward group is lead by Valteri Filppula, with a record of over 1,000 NHL games and 500 points spent between the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and New York Islanders.
Filppula who now plays for Geneve Servette of the Swiss league, spent the last season with the Red Wings.
34-year-old Leo Komarov is who terminated his contract with Islanders this season to join SKA St. Petersburg is another NHL talent in the Finnish roster.
Teemu Hartikainen with 52 games with the Edmonton Oilers over three seasons, and Markus Granlund with 335 games with the Oilers, Calgary Flames, and Vancouver Canucks over seven seasons are yet other NHL veterans in the Finnish team.
Sami Vatanen, former Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils, and Dallas Stars defender, who followed Filppula to Switzerland this past offseason to join Geneve Servette, will lead Finland’s blueline.
Also in the blueline is former Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets defender Mikko Lehtonen.
The full list of Finland’s team can be found below.
Marco Anttila, Marcus Granlund, Sakari Manninen, Niko Ojamaki, Teemu Hartikainen, Joonas Kemppainen, Leo Komarov, Hannes Bjorninen, Saku Maenalanen, Toni Rajala, Iro Pakarinen, Valteri Filppula, Harri Pesonen
Ville Pokka, Jusso Heitanen, Niklas Friman, Petteri Lindbohm, Mikko Lehtonen, Sami Vatanen, Valteri Kemilainen, Atte Ohtamaa
Harri Sateri, Frans Tuohimaa, Jussi Olkinuara