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Ehlers officially named to Denmark Olympic hockey team

25-year-old had nine points in three games in Olympic qualifying tournament

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

Nikolaj Ehlers became the first member of the Winnipeg Jets named to a roster for the 2022 Olympic Games on Friday.

Ehlers, who had nine points in three Olympic qualifier games in August, helped Denmark earn its first Olympic berth since joining the International Ice Hockey Federation in 1946.

Head coach Paul Maurice said the forward - who scored twice in Wednesday's preseason win over the Calgary Flames, including the eventual game-winner - has been modest about the announcement around his teammates, so far.

"He just has a little smile on his face," Maurice said Friday morning. "I think he's going to wait for the statue. When the statue comes out, he's going to take pictures of it and send it to everybody's phone anonymously. He's waiting for the statue. I think it's coming."

The 25-year-old has represented Denmark on numerous occasions on the international stage.

He was part of the Denmark squad that earned its win in the top division of the World Junior Championship back in 2015, and had four points in the five tournament games that year.

Shortly after clinching the Olympic spot in August, the Aalborg product said the growth in Danish hockey the last number of years has been special to be part of.

"We made the quarterfinals at the World Championship in 2016, we had the World Championship in Denmark in 2018, and at this year's World Championship we beat Sweden for the first time ever. Now we're going to the Olympics," said Ehlers. "What we're trying to do here with this team is make hockey bigger in Denmark." 

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