The 2022 Olympics are still a year away, but the Canadian men's hockey team's roster is slowly taking shape.
"I think where we are at right now, we have a majority where we probably have 10 or 11 locks on the team," general manager Doug Armstrong said, according to The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun. "That leaves up to 14 or 15 players that are in contention and there’s probably 50 guys on that list still. It’s just a whittling-down process.
"You want to add guys to the locks, and remove guys that are no longer in consideration and hope that list gets smaller and smaller."
Canada's player pool is arguably the strongest among all competing countries, though Armstrong said earlier this month he's "not picking an All-Star team."
The NHL didn't send its players to the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, which contributes to a difficult task for Armstrong and his staff. With the eight-year gap between Olympic participation, there's a crop of players who haven't received a chance and will be hungry to secure a spot in 2022.
"... Because we didn’t go in 2018, we are going to be looking at a couple of guys from 2010, a couple from 2014, but there is going to be a whole new wave of guys in there," Armstrong said.
"And I sort of look at it as who played for their national teams between say 2010 and 2016, 2017 at the world juniors," he added. "That’s likely the majority of your group coming out of there."
Four of the NHL's top-10 scorers entering Thursday's action (Connor McDavid, Mitch Marner, Mark Scheifele, and Jonathan Huberdeau) are in that group of budding talent from the years Armstrong mentions.
Canada won gold in each of the last two Olympics (2010, 2014) that featured NHL players.