Abdelkader, Sulak on the board in the preliminary round at Beijing 2022

Photo credit:George Walker IV-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
2 years ago
All 12 teams participating in the men’s ice hockey tournament at the 2022 Beijing Olympics have now wrapped up their preliminary round schedule.
On Wednesday, WingsNation listed all the Red Wings alumni currently gunning for gold in Beijing. For reference, here’s a country-by-country breakdown of each ex-Red Wing at the Olympics:
United States: Justin Abdelkader (F)
Ben Street (F), Landon Ferraro (F)
Finland: Valtteri Filppula (F)
Sweden: Jacob de la Rose (F), Mathias Brome (F), Johan Garpenlov (HC)
Slovakia: Tomas Jurco (F)
Czechia: Libor Sulak (D)
Denmark: Frans Nielsen (F)
China: Jake Chelios (D), Ryan Sproul (D)
Germany, Switzerland, Latvia, ROC (Russia): None
Teams United States, Finland, Sweden, and ROC have clinched berths in the Olympic quarterfinals. The other eight will have to play for their spots in the qualification playoff round.
Here’s a look at how the Red Wings’ 11 alumni playing at the games have fared through the first five days of competition.
  • Longtime Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader appeared in Team USA’s 8–0 rout over Team China on Feb. 10. The 34-year-old winger logged 10:23 of ice-time, took three shots on goal, picked up a slashing minor, and recorded the primary assist on Sean Farrell’s hat-trick goal late in the third period. Abdelkader did not play in the States’ subsequent games against Canada and Germany.
  • Frans Nielsen appeared in all three of Denmark’s first-ever Olympic men’s hockey games, scoring the winning goal on a penalty shot in the team’s opener against Team Czechia on Feb. 9. Denmark won two of its three games in the preliminary round and needs to defeat Team Latvia on Feb. 15 to make it through to the quarterfinals.
  • The Johan Garpenlov-coached Swedish team boasts two former Red Wings forwards: Mathias Brome and Jacob de la Rose. Brome, 27, has been the more productive of the two thus far, recording three assists during the preliminary round; de la Rose, 26, has yet to find his way onto the scoresheet while averaging 13:53 per game in the group stage. In the quarterfinals, Team Sweden will face the winner of Tuesday’s game between Canada and China.
  • Team Canada forward Ben Street has been the Red Wings’ most productive alumnus at the 2022 Olympics, having scored two goals and three points over his team’s three preliminary games. Only 11 players have more points in the tournament than the 35-year-old center, who appeared in six games with the Red Wings during the 2016–17 season. Fellow ex-Red Wing Landon Ferraro has yet to play a single game at the Olympics and it remains to be seen whether he’ll draw in for Canada’s qualification playoff game against Team China on Jan. 15.
  • Team Finland ran the table in the preliminary round, with longtime Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula there for all three of their wins. The 37-year-old forward picked up a single assist over his team’s first three games and logged a significant amount of ice-time, averaging 16:23 in the group stage. Even on a stacked Finnish side that includes former NHLers Teemu Hartikainen, Iiro Pakarinen, and @Mikko Lehtonen, as well as KHL star Sakari Manninen, expect Filppula — Finland’s flag bearer at the Beijing 2022 opening ceremonies — to play a central role in potentially helping his team advance far in the tournament.
  • The Czechs picked up two overtime wins in the group stage, with former Red Wings defenseman Libor Sulak scoring the winner in the extra frame of their contest against Team ROC on Feb. 12. Sulak, 27, appeared in six games with the Red Wings during the 2018–19 season but has spent the bulk of his career playing in various European leagues. He also registered an assist in the Czechs’ wild 6–5 overtime victory over the ROC.
  • One of the more experienced Red Wings alumni in the 2022 Olympics, Tomas Jurco played a big part in helping Team Slovakia record its first win of the tournament on Feb. 13. The 29-year-old forward recorded a goal and an assist — his first and, to this point, only points of the Olympics — to help the Slovaks defeat Team Latvia 5–2. Jurco appeared in 159 regular-season games with the Red Wings between 2013–14 and 2016–17.
  • Team China only scored two goals in the entire preliminary stage, but Ryan Sproul managed to figure in on both of them. The 29-year-old right-handed defenseman originally hails from Mississauga, Ontario but, like Chicago-born Jake Chelios, became eligible to play for China after spending three years with Kunlun Red Star in the KHL. Both Sproul and Chelios logged more than 20 minutes and assisted on Parker Foo’s goal in China’s nail-biter 3–2 loss to Team Germany on Feb. 12.
The qualification playoffs in the men’s ice hockey tournament at Beijing 2022 will take place on Feb. 15, with the following five games scheduled for that date:
Slovakia vs. Germany: Winner plays United States
Denmark vs. Latvia:
Winner plays ROC
Czechia vs. Switzerland: Winner plays Finland
Canada vs. China: Winner plays Sweden

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