2022 Winter Olympics

2022 Olympics Preview: Team Finland

I've spent the past two weeks handpicking Olympics rosters for the 2022 games, theoretically just a year away. First up was Team Canada, the prohibitive tournament favourite; then the young, dynamic Americans; and most recently, the defence-first Swedes.

Today, it's Finland's turn.

The Finns disappointed in spectacular fashion in the last exhibition of best-on-best hockey, the 2016 World Cup; they scored just one goal over the course of the tournament, a late third period marker in a blowout loss to Team North America and were shut-out in their last two games. They project to be much better this time around.

I made these selections leaning heavily on the analytical profiles of the players involved, encompassing not only Patrick Bacon’s Wins Above Replacement model but also factors such as Corey Sznajder’s manually tracked microstats. This combo should maximize not only the quality of the players involved but ensure compatibility between them and complementary skill sets.

It will be an uphill battle for this team to contend for a gold medal, but they have the talent and upside to make a serious run. Every country in this series has benefitted from an influx of young talent, and Finland is no different; the entire top-six that I’ve selected is below the age of 27. If this team can medal, it will be because of this new generation of stars.{

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