I’ve always loved making hypothetical rosters. I thought it would be a fun experiment to put one
together with the parameter that once a player has been selected from a given country, that country
cannot be used again. I was curious to see what the balance of this team would look like given that you
have 20 spots to fill but there are far from 20 powerhouse hockey nations. It was fun reaping the benefit
of weaker countries who happen to have produced outlier stars like Slovenia and Austria and it was fun
to deal with the internal debates of Gretzky vs. Orr, Hasek vs. Jagr, Kane vs. Leetch and so on. With that
being said, here is the roster I came up with.

Alex Ovechkin (Russia) – Peter Stastny (Slovakia) – Teemu Selanne (Finland)
Thomas Vanek (Austria) – Leon Draisaitl (Germany) – Patrick Kane (United States)
Mas Zuccarello (Norway) – Anze Kopitar (Slovenia) – Dmitri Khristich (Ukraine)
Nikolai Antropov (Kazakhstan) – Dainius Zubrus (Lithuania) – Mariusz Czerkawski (Poland)

Bobby Orr (Canada) – Roman Josi (Switzerland)
Nik Lidstrom (Sweden) – Sandis Ozolins (Latvia)
Ruslan Salei (Belarus)– Ed Kea (Netherlands)

Dominik Hasek (Czech Republic)
Frederik Andersen (Denmark)

Forwards Analysis:
As predicted this isn’t one of those all time rosters that is made up of 20 Hall of Famers, but damn this is
a good forward group. The first line of Stastny, one of the all-time great play makers, centering
Ovechkin, the greatest goal scorer in history and Selanne, a Hall of Fame sniper is as good as it gets. This
line would be a nightmare to match up against with elite size, speed and scoring. Moving on to the
second line, Draisaitl and Kane are both future first ballot Hall of Famers and while he is not on their
level a prime Thomas Vanek is an all-star winger and 40 goal scorer who slots in nicely. Maybe not the
most defensively sound, but the creativity and scoring would be off the charts. As we get to the third
line, I think I have to thank Slovenia for producing Anze Kopitar who in a way feels like the most
important piece of the puzzle. As I said there are not 20 powerhouse hockey nations but all it takes is a
country like this to produce one star and it’s all that’s needed for this roster. The strength of the
forwards is the centre depth and without Kopitar this teams becomes significantly more top heavy. With
Kopitar you have a dominant offensive force who also happens to be one of the best two-way players of

all time. This is a nice line with Zuccarello and Khristich who are both quality point producers and solid
two way players. It’s a good line that can score and play a shutdown role. The fourth line is the weakest
of the group but all three players had strong NHL careers and this would be a nice middle six line on any
other team. While they’re not as dangerous or dynamic as the other lines all three players are capable of
being 20+ goal, 50+ point guys.

Defense Analysis:
Yes, Bobby Orr over Wayne Gretzky. I’m sure I’ll get plenty who disagree, but simply put, given the rest
of the roster Orr provides far more value. If you swap Gretzky for Orr the defense suffers more than the
offense is elevated. Without Orr you have a phenomenal first pair of Lidstrom and Josi but, are left with
the second and third pair dropping way off. By taking Orr it gives you the luxury of using the 3 rd pair very
sparingly and essentially getting to play almost 60 minutes a night of having either Orr or Lidstrom on
the ice. I also don’t hate the idea of pairing them together in pivotal moments to create the greatest D
tandem in history. Josi and Ozolins are both still number one caliber D-men, giving this team a dream
top four. I can’t even imagine the other team having many opportunities to score with the level of puck
possession you’d have. The third pair is a heavy drop off but Salei and Kea both had quality NHL careers.
It’s a fine pair but nothing more and you would have the luxury of giving them very few minutes.

Goaltending Analysis:
Hasek vs. Jagr was the debate that really wasn’t much of a debate. As much as Jagr would really elevate
the forward group, they are already elite and I’d much rather arguably take the greatest goalie of all
time than a winger when I already have Ovi, Selanne and Kane. I struggle to imagine Hasek losing too
many games with guys like Orr, Lidstrom, Josi and Kopitar in front of him and basically endless goal
support from the top six. Andersen would only be used in the regular season to give Hasek rest but he’s
an NHL starter and as high end as you get for a backup.

This team boasts nine players that are either in the Hall of Fame or future Hall of Famers, maybe ten
depending on how the rest of Josi’s career players out. The top six forwards and top four D are
extremely high end, and the third line is a perfect compliment of being able to play shutdown hockey
and still score. The bottom of the roster are certainly not scrubs but are merely solid. All in all this team
would be exceptionally dominant. There you have it! Let me know if you disagree with any of my choices or would have done anything differently!