The 2022 Winter Olympic Video games to be held in Beijing are quick approaching. For years, hockey followers, particularly in North America, had hoped to see their favourite hockey stars put on their nationwide colours and compete for Olympic gold. Nevertheless, with the NHL and NHLPA backing out of the Olympics as a consequence of a number of components, a few of that are immediately associated to COVID protocol issues, the event is not going to boast having star energy like Alex Ovechkin, or be known as a “finest on finest” event.
The change left all the main hockey nations scrambling to spherical out their groups, and several other nations have but to announce their rosters. Russia might be utilizing Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) gamers, similar to Mikhail Grigorenko, to fill its roster, and has already offered for an Olympic Break of their schedule. Czechia additionally will use European professionals.
Workforce USA has determined to go together with principally youth and ability, returning to a technique used of their 1980 Miracle Run staff by relying principally upon NCAA gamers.
Sean Farrell Nomination
One such NCAA participant is Sean Farrell, the Canadiens’ fourth-round draft selection in 2020, who’s one in every of 15 faculty gamers named to the U.S. staff. With this nomination, Sean Farrell has extra Olympic appearances than Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews mixed. It is a enjoyable stat to level out, and whereas technically true, does level to the truth that the event will sadly be lacking out on star energy.
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Final season, he performed for the Chicago Metal in america Hockey League (USHL) and scored 101 factors in 53 video games, main his staff to the league title whereas incomes himself league honors because the USHL participant of the 12 months. This output led Canadiens rookie Cole Caufield to declare him a Steal when he was drafted by the Habs.
This season, Farrell is a freshman left winger at Harvard who’s second on the staff in factors with 19 factors, together with a team-leading eight targets in 13 video games performed. One more reason for his choice might be his chemistry with teammate and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Nick Abruzzese
He additionally brings expertise as a member of the US Nationwide Coaching and Improvement Program in addition to in worldwide play, having represented the US as a member of the below 18 World Juniors staff, a number of seasons.
Farrell Brings Ability
Why would a Freshman be chosen to symbolize his nation as an alternative of some extra skilled gamers? Effectively, Farrell’s recreation relies on velocity and ability. He’s an offensive participant who’s at the moment scoring at 1.46 factors per recreation tempo. He leads his Harvard Crimson squad in targets scored, and is second on the staff in whole factors.
Whereas Farrell could also be undersized at 5-foot-9 and 174 kilos, he compensates nicely along with his velocity, edgework, and offensive ability set. He’s adept at scoring targets utilizing a big selection of photographs, and doesn’t depend on just one sort, selecting as an alternative to make use of shot selection with wrist photographs, snapshots, slap photographs, and one-timers. Utilizing totally different releases like that for many gamers might imply a lack of accuracy, nevertheless, Farrell may be very correct, in a position to establish and decide any opening a goaltender supplies him.
He’s additionally a playmaker. He’s able to utilizing his mobility to create area and passing lanes, then shifting the puck shortly. He makes use of this ability finest in small space performs, permitting him to both generate a cycle or, a give-and-go play with a teammate.
For a participant of his bodily stature, Farrell is surprisingly good in battles for free pucks, regardless of his lack of measurement. He can’t depend on physicality to win puck battles like Canadiens energy ahead Josh Anderson would, however as an alternative makes use of his velocity to shut gaps shortly, and good physique and stick positioning to supply little to no time or area for his opposition to achieve management and generate a play. This has made him efficient at forcing turnovers on the fore-check, and as soon as an opponent makes a mistake, he makes use of that turnover to transition it right into a scoring likelihood.
Farrell’s addition to Workforce USA for the Olympics supplies him a beautiful alternative to take his recreation to a different stage. Whereas he does have expertise enjoying internationally, it has been in opposition to his friends, different novice gamers of his age group. Now, he might be going through off in opposition to professionals from all over the world who’ve the benefit of expertise and measurement. If he can translate his model of play to this brief event, even in a depth position, it will assist him acquire confidence.
Canadiens followers now have a cause to observe past nationwide delight, as they will get to see how one in every of their younger prospects fares in a difficult scenario. Additionally, it might be to observe historical past repeat itself because the US and Russia renew worldwide rivalries, with Russia being the favorites, and the US enjoying the position of underdog. It actually wouldn’t damage to have them play the legendary Herb Brooks pre-game speech earlier than enjoying their rivals.
Blain is a daily contributor as a THW Author. For over 7 years he has been a component time journalist and podcaster protecting the NHL, the Montreal Canadiens and its associates. He has made appearances on numerous tv and radio stations in addition to podcasts to debate the Canadiens, and the NHL. Blain has taken the teachings on integrity, ethics, values and honesty that he has realized as a 28 12 months veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces and utilized them to his work as a journalist to information him in informing his readers and his purpose of being a trusted supply of knowledge and leisure.