Alexander Radulov, Russia
Alexander Radulov will be back as a top player for the Russian team that was banned from the 2018 tournament. The Dallas Stars winger led the Russians with 6 points in 5 games during the 2014 Olympics. Russia finished 5th in Sochi after losing their quarterfinal game to Finland.
Russia will have completed their 4-year IOC ban due to doping come the 2022 tournament in Beijing. Players were allowed to compete in the 2018 Olympics under the “Olympics Athletes from Russia” (OAR) banner. OAR, led by Ilya Kovalchuk and Kirill Kaprizov, won the tournament after beating Germany in the gold medal game.
The 2018 PyeongChang Olympics was the first without NHL players since 1998. The lack of an agreement between the NHL, IOC, and IIHF stemmed from debate over who would cover costs. Thankfully, the agreement for the 2022 games is in place and will provide a much more memorable tournament than the last iteration.