Feb 12, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT
After all the buildup, the 2014 Winter Olympic men’s hockey tournament is finally about to get underway.
This tournament is about hockey’s best showing what they can do on the international stage, but it’s also an opportunity for a select group of highly talented young players to be exposed to a level of play that could help shape their careers.
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty would make that argument, given that he feels playing for Canada in 2010 changed him for the better.
Doughty was 20 years old at the time and while he was already clearly a great player, the following year he excelled in the postseason to play a key role in the Kings winning the Stanley Cup.
Canada doesn’t have a player quite that young on its roster this time around, but the United States has 21-year-old blueliner Justin Faulk and 22-year-old defenseman Cam Fowler on its squad. Meanwhile, 18-year-old Valeri Nichushkin will see first hand the type of pressure the Russian greats are under as they fight to win the gold at home.
So while this promises to be a memorable couple of weeks, the impact of these games could last far longer than that.
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- Vigneault: McDonagh was playing with a broken foot 14
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers 69
- The Ducks got Kesler for a game like Saturday’s 32
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win 54
- DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose 14
- Sabres name Bylsma head coach 46
- Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’ 18
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue 56
- Stanley Cup Final to begin June 3 10
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (77)
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers (69)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue (56)
- On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’ (54)