Eric Anderson has been mulling possible Team Canada picks from the ranks of Saskatchewan NHLers.
It looks like at least one Saskatchewan-born NHL player is a shoe-in to make Canada's Olympic squad, but additional possibilities have surfaced, the CBC's Eric Anderson says.
Here are the five best prospects to make the team, starting with the most likely selection:
Ryan Getzlaf 1. Ryan Getzlaf
— According to Anderson, many believe it's a safe bet that Regina's Getzlaf will make the cut.
He's had a great season with the Anaheim Ducks and would likely play a key role on the team.
Jordan Eberle 2. Jordan Eberle
— The former star with the Regina Pats is considered a strong candidate for Sochi. But even-though he has an enviable international hockey resume, his NHL team, the Edmonton Oilers, has struggled this year.
There's also the reality that there are many good players ahead of him for Team Canada to pick from.
Chris Kunitz 3. Chris Kunitz
— The Pittsburgh Penguins left winger is third in the league with 17 goals, most of them assisted by superstar teammate Sidney Crosby. They've played together for several years and have terrific chemistry, Anderson notes. Is that reason enough to put him on the team? Some experts say no. Anderson says
Kunitz is on the bubble.
Patrick Marleau ((Jeff Gross/Getty Images))4. Patrick Marleau
— The Aneroid, Sask., product has had a good year with San Jose. He was on Team Canada in Vancouver four years ago so that will help. Still, like Kunitz, he might not be a lock for the national squad, Anderson says.
Josh Harding (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)5. Josh Harding
— According to the numbers, Regina's Josh Harding has been the NHL's best goalie this season. The Minnesota Wild player leads the league in shutouts and is second in wins. Still, Harding doesn't have the years of success that other Canadian goalies have.
Team Canada selections will be announced Jan. 7.