Russia has announced its first three NHLers that will help to make up its Olympic roster in Beijing.
Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and forwards Alex Ovechkin and Nikita Kucherov have been named to the Olympic team.
Ovechkin is the only player of the three to previously play in the Olympics, making the team in 2006, 2010 and 2014. Vasilevskiy will be Russia’s starting goalie, with Kucherov, the 2019 Hart Trophy winner, playing in his first international tournament since winning the top forward at the 2019 World Championship with 16 points.
Russia will have to play under the Russia Olympic Committee banner after the World Anti-Doping Agency banned the team from participating under its official country title back in 2019.
The NHL and NHLPA requested that each team names its first three NHLers ahead of the first Olympic roster reveal on Oct. 15. Four other teams named their rosters earlier on Friday, with the other four making their choices Thursday.