By: Ryan Duffy | Follow me on Twitter: @Rduffy26
With the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on February 4th, 2022, participating countries were asked to name three hockey players to their Olympic rosters. David Pastrnak, Ondrej Palat, and Jakub Voracek are the first three players selected by the Czech Republic to participate in their pursuit of a gold medal for the men’s hockey team this winter. Palat and Voracek previously played for the Czech Republic during the Sochi Olympics in 2014, where they lost to the United States in the quarterfinals. For Pastrnak, this will be his first time representing his homeland country in the Olympics.
It’s no surprise that Pastrnak was one of the three players selected by the Czech Republic. Pastrnak, a native of Havirov, Czech Republic, has been honored with the Golden Hockey Stick as the Czech Player of the Year for the past five consecutive seasons. His five straight Golden Hockey Sticks passed former NHLer legend Jaromir Jagr for the most consecutive wins. Just at 25 years old, the Bruins superstar has already established himself as one of the NHL’s elite snipers with a Maurice Richard Trophy to his name in the 2019-20 season (48 goals).
Pastrnak recorded 20 goals and 28 assists last season in 48 games. He also had seven goals and eight assists in the 11 playoff games the Bruins played in the 2021 postseason. Since entering the NHL, Pastrnak has put up astounding numbers for Boston as he’s scored 427 points in 438 games for the Bruins. He’s also has impressive playoff numbers, putting up 68 points in 63 career playoff games.
The Czech Republic would’ve likely selected Pastrnak to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics, but unfortunately, NHL players weren’t permitted to attend that year. It will not be the first time Pastrnak has worn a Czech Republic jersey, although. He’s represented his home country in the U17, U18, and the U20 World Junior Team. He has also played in the World Cup of Hockey in 2016 and the IIHF World Championships in 2016 and 2017.
All Olympic athletes know how much of an honor it is to represent their home country. Before he was selected, Pastrnak was asked about potentially being named to represent the Czech Republic in the Beijing Olympics about a week ago. He responded, saying, “Really excited. It’s one of the dreams growing up as a kid.”
Pastrnak will likely find himself playing with former Bruin and teammate David Krejci these Olympics. There is a chance Pastrnak and Krejci will be on the same line due to their familiarity with one another. Whoever Pastrnak ends up playing alongside; he will showcase his skillset on the biggest stage in the Beijing Winter Olympics.