NHL Prospects Playing at the 2022 Winter Olympics

The 2022 Olympics in Beijing are underway and we are just hours away from the beginning of the men’s hockey tournament. Without NHL players for the second-straight time, countries had to look elsewhere for talent to fill their teams. Some went with a veteran-heavy lineup while others thought prospects were the way to go (see Team USA).

Related: THW’s Guide to the 2022 Olympics

From recent first-round picks like Mason McTavish, Owen Power, Jake Sanderson, Matty Beniers and Brendan Brisson to seventh-round picks like Devon Levi and Sam Hentges, there will be a wide range of young talent taking part in this year’s competition. 18 of the NHL’s 32 teams will have at least one prospect representing them with the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets leading the way with four. In total, 31 prospects will be playing for their countries with 12 of them being first or second-round picks.

Before we get to the team-by-team breakdown, let’s take a look at a few prospects you should be keeping an eye on.

Mason McTavish – Team Canada

The Anaheim Ducks have a beauty on their hands in McTavish. The big 6-foot-1, 207-pound pivot has already played nine NHL games, three American Hockey League (AHL) games, eight Ontario Hockey League (OHL) games and finally two games for Team Canada in 2021-22. In total, he has played for five teams this season and scored 15 goals and 24 points in 22 games between them. Talk about a well-travelled 19-year-old.

Mason McTavish Peterborough Petes
Mason McTavish, seen here with the Peterborough Petes (Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

Now McTavish is poised to represent Canada again, this time at the Olympics playing alongside Eric Staal, who is a Stanley Cup winner and member of the triple-gold club. Having played already with another former Olympian in Ryan Getzlaf, he is getting quite the education early in his career. If everything goes according to plan, he could have an Olympic gold medal in his trophy case before his 20th birthday. Not many prospects can put that on their resume.

Owen Power – Team Canada

Joining McTavish on Team Canada will be 2021 first-overall pick Owen Power. Unlike him, he already has one of the three requirements for the triple-gold club as he won a gold medal at the 2020 World Championship. If he wins gold at the Olympics, he will have completed two-thirds of the trifecta in less than a year.

Related: Sabres’ Owen Power Makes Canadian History at 2022 World Juniors

Power has been a powerhouse (pun intended) with the Michigan Wolverines this season where he has three goals and 26 points in 24 games. He also was a monster at the short-lived World Juniors, where he recorded a hat trick and five points in two games. A hat trick that will go down in history as the first-ever for a Canadian defenceman.

Power will likely play in all situations and lead Canada in ice time as he tries to win two gold medals in less than a year. Heck, he could have three by the time 2022 comes to a close if all goes well at the WJC that is scheduled to resume in August.

Matty Beniers – Team USA

Rounding out the trio is Hingham native Matty Beniers. Selected second overall by the Seattle Kraken in last year’s draft, this two-way dynamo has all the tools to become a dominant top-six pivot as soon as the 2022-23 season. At 18 years old, he already looked mature beyond his years when he won gold with Team USA at the 2021 WJC. Now a year older, he will be looked upon to lead a team that boasts a tournament-high 13 prospects. The future Selke Award winner will undoubtedly rise to the challenge and further solidify his status (if he hasn’t done so already) as one of the most complete prospects in the NHL.

Devon Levi – Team Canada

Already a gold medalist from the 2020 WJC, Levi has been lights out playing for the Northeastern Huskies this season. Second only to Quinnipiac University’s Yaniv Perets in goals-against average (GAA) and save percentage (SV%) with a 1.55 GAA and .948 SV%, a brick wall doesn’t even come close to describing his play in 2021-22.

Despite not dressing for Canada’s scrimmage against the United States on Monday, Levi is still very much in the mix when it comes to being the starter between him, Edward Pasquale and Matt Tomkins. It’s best to not count him out either, as he was the third goaltender at the 2020 WJC and ended up becoming one of the reasons why they won the gold medal. In fact, he started seven games and finished the tournament with a 0.75 GAA and .964 SV% along with three shutouts.

Sean Farrell – Team USA

After putting up a career-high 29 goals and 101 points in 53 games for the Chicago Steel in the United States Hockey League (USHL) during his draft-plus-one year, Sean Farrell moved on to the NCAA in 2021-22. Playing for Harvard University as a freshman, the uber-playmaker already has 19 points in 17 games.

Sean Farrell USNTDP
Sean Farrell, USA NTDP (Credit: Rena Laverty)

Surprisingly selected all the way down in the fourth round by the Montreal Canadiens in 2020, Farrell is now part of Team USA for the Olympics playing alongside first-rounders like Beniers, Sanderson and former Chicago Steel teammate Brendan Brisson. Destined to become the ying to a goalscorer’s yang, he could eventually make Cole Caufield a 50-goal scorer in the NHL one day. If he ends up playing with Beniers or Brisson, goals will be coming in bunches.

Full Breakdown By NHL Team

Anaheim Ducks (1)

  • C Mason McTavish – Canada – 2021 first-round pick (3rd)

Buffalo Sabres (2)

  • G Devon Levi – Canada – Acquired in a trade with the Florida Panthers in 2021
  • D Owen Power – Canada – 2021 first-round pick (1st)

Calgary Flames (1)

  • LW Pavel Karnaukhov – Russia – 2015 fifth-round pick (136th)

Carolina Hurricanes (1)

  • D Alexander Nikishin – Russia – 2020 third-round pick (69th)

Chicago Blackhawks (4)

  • LW Parker Foo – China – 2017 fifth-round pick (144th)
  • LW/RW Artur Kayumov – Russia – 2016 second-round pick (50th)
  • G Drew Commesso – United States – 2020 second-round pick (46th)
Drew Commesso USNTDP
Drew Commesso of the USNTDP (Rena Laverty)
  • LW Artur Kayumov – Russia – 2016 second-round pick (50th)

Colorado Avalanche (1)

  • D Drew Helleson – United States – 2019 second-round pick (47th)

Columbus Blue Jackets (4)

  • C/LW Calvin Thurkauf – Switzerland – 2016 seventh-round pick (185th)
  • RW/LW Kirill Marchenko – Russia – 2018 second-round pick (49th)
  • LW/C Dmitri Voronkov – Russia – 2019 fourth-round pick (114th)
  • D Samuel Knazko – Slovakia – 2020 third-round pick (78th)

Los Angeles Kings (1)

  • D Brock Faber – United States – 2020 second-round pick (45th)

Montreal Canadiens (2)

  • G Frederik Dichow – Denmark – 2019 fifth-round pick (138th)
  • C/LW Sean Farrell – United States – 2020 fourth-round pick (124th)

Minnesota Wild (2)

  • LW Sam Hentges – United States – 2018 seventh-round pick (210th)
  • C Jack McBain – Canada – 2018 third-round pick (63rd)

New Jersey Devils (1)

  • RW Arseni Gritsyuk – Russia – 2019 fifth-round pick (129th)

Ottawa Senators (1)

  • D Jake Sanderson – United States – 2020 first-round pick (5th)

Philadelphia Flyers (2)

  • LW Noah Cates – United States – 2017 fifth-round pick (137th)
  • G Matej Tomek – Slovakia – 2015 third-round pick (90th)

Seattle Kraken (1)

  • C Matty Beniers – United States – 2021 first-round pick (2nd)

Tampa Bay Lightning (1)

  • D Nicklaus Perbix – United States – 2017 sixth-round pick (169th)

Toronto Maple Leafs (3)

  • C Nick Abruzzese – United States – 2019 fourth-round pick (124th)
  • C/LW Matthew Knies – United States – 2021 second-round pick (57th)
Matthew Knies University of Minnesota
Matthew Knies, University of Minnesota (Image courtesy of University of Minnesota Athletics)
  • C/LW Pontus Holmberg – Sweden – 2018 sixth-round pick (156th)

Vegas Golden Knights (2)

  • F Brendan Brisson – United States – 2020 first-round pick (29th)
  • RW Martins Dzierkals – Latvia – Acquired in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2020

Winnipeg Jets (1)

  • C Nathan Smith – United States – 2018 third-round pick (91st)