Boston Bruins: This winger is headed to the Beijing Olympics

The Boston Bruins are expected to have a number of representatives at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, and one has been made official.

David Pastrnak has been selected to the Czech Republic Olympic roster, the country’s management announced. Each team has been required to announce their first three selections for their Olympic squad. Pastrnak joins Tampa Bay Lightning Ondrej Palat and Columbus Blue Jacket Jakub Voracek as the first members of Czech Republic.

This will be the first Olympic Games for David Pastrnak. He likely would have been a selection for the 2018 Winter Olympics, however, the NHL did not send its players to Sochi for those games. The NHL agreed to send its player over for these Olympics after a push from the NHLPA.

Internationally, Pastrnak has been donning his country’s colors since 2012 for various teams. He first played on their U17, then their U18 team and spent three years on their U20 World Junior team.

Pastrnak also played for the Czech Republic in the World Cup of Hockey, recording zero points in three games. He also represented the Czech in the World Championships in 2016, 2017 and 2018. With the Bruins making deep runs in the playoffs the last few seasons, Pastrnak has not played in those World Championships since then.

It’s not surprising to see Pastrnak headed to his first Olympic Games. He’ll be the driving force behind the offense for the Czech Republic. The country is a top-heavy offensive team and will rely on its scoring, as the defense is shaping up to be its weak link, lacking depth.

There’s a good chance he will reunite with former Bruin David Krejci, who should be selected to the team. There’s a chance the two might form part of the first line for the Czechs, but Tomas Hertl will contend with Krejci for that top center spot.

As a team, Czech Republic is in that middle tier of countries. It will have a hard time keeping up with top dogs like Canada and the U.S., but should easily take care of the lower countries like Latvia and Denmark. I group them in with Slovakia and Switzerland as a team that should advance to the elimination stage and could play spoiler in the first round.

Nonetheless, it will be exciting to see what Pastrnak can do for Czech Republic in his first Olympics.