Earlier today, we speculated if and how the Boston College men’s hockey roster would be impacted by the Olympics. This afternoon, Frank Seravalli reported that along with a handful of college players, defenseman Drew Helleson has been invited to play for Team USA for the Olympic games. While the list isn’t finalized and not all players have confirmed their participation, there’s a high possibility that Helleson will be heading over to Beijing early next month.
NEWS: Reporting with @chrismpeters, team and league sources tell @DailyFaceoff these 15 players have been invited to play for Team USA at #Beijing2022 Olympics.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) January 6, 2022
List is still fluid, not all have confirmed participation, and @USAHockey is actively adding others. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/jAdBFDawZO
Although the same concerns around covid that caused the NHL to pull out of Olympic participation still linger for college players, it looks like a majority of them are still willing to go. And with the inclusion of two NCAA men’s hockey head coaches on the coaching staff, USA Hockey is likely relying on college players accepting their invites to play for Team USA.
This is correct. I haven't yet heard of a single player saying 'no.' Have only heard of one coach who said 'no.' https://t.co/DcMQCvYn85— Brad Elliott Schlossman (@SchlossmanGF) January 6, 2022
The Olympics run from February 3 - February 20, so if Helleson were to accept the invite he would be away from BC for a huge chunk of February, if not more due to travel and quarantine scenarios. This means that he’d miss the Beanpot and those crucial weeks in February where BC pushes for a higher seed in the Hockey East Tournament and an at-large NCAA tournament bid. This season, Helleson is one of BC’s top defensemen, and has 14 points in 17 games so far.
With all this being said, it is incredibly exciting for a player to get this opportunity, and it’ll be very cool to have another Eagle at the Olympics!