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Will NHL players compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics?

Will NHL players compete at the 2022 Winter Games?

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 16: Chicago Blackhawks Right Wing Patrick Kane (88) skates with the puck during the second period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Chicago Blackhawks on October 16, 2021, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2022 Winter Olympics begin on Friday, February 4 through Sunday, February 20, and after missing the 2018 PyeongChang Games–their first Olympic absence since 1994-- NHL stars will officially return to the lineup in Beijing.

USA Hockey announced in early October that Patrick Kane (Buffalo, NY), Auston Matthews (San Ramon, California), and Seth Jones (Arlington, Texas) were the first three hockey players named to the U.S. Olympic team.

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All three players are NHL All-Stars. Kane, a right-wing for the Blackhawks, has won three Stanley Cups with Chicago and will be making his third Olympic appearance in Beijing. Kane was on the 2010 team when the U.S. lost the gold medal to Canada in overtime, and the 2014 team, which finished fourth. Matthews, a center for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Jones, a defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks, will both be making their Olympic debut. However, both players have previously represented Team USA. Matthews was on the team that placed fourth at the 2016 World Championships while Jones was on the 2014 and 2015 world teams that won bronze.

The full 25-man roster for the U.S. will be announced on or close to January 11. Click here to see which other NHL players have been selected for Olympic hockey rosters.

The Wukesong Sports Centre and National Indoor Stadium, both located in Beijing, will serve as the main indoor venues for hockey during the 2022 Winter Olympics. Both venues were previously used during the 2008 Games, the Wukesong Sports Centre hosted the basketball tournament and the National Indoor Stadium hosted gymnastics, trampoline, and handball.

RELATED: NHL reaches agreement for players to compete at Beijing Winter Olympics