Who will play in Beijing 2022?
by Martin Merk|04 FEB 2021
The Chinese women’s national team celebrates a win at the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division I Group B.
photo: CIHA
In one year the 2022 Olympic Winter Games will be opened in Beijing. Then 22 ice hockey teams will battle for medals in the Chinese capital. Click here for Part I of our 1 Year To Go coverage.

The men’s ice hockey tournament will be played in the same format known from the previous Winter Olympics with 12 teams split into three groups of four.

Teams from the following countries have already qualified and been seeded as follows according to the 2020 IIHF Men's World Ranking:
Group A Group B Group C
Canada (1) Russia (2) Finland (3)
USA (6) Czech Republic (5) Sweden (4)
Germany (7) Switzerland (8) Qualifier 1 (9)
China (12) Qualifier 3 (11) Qualifier 2 (10)

The remaining teams will be determined in the Final Olympic Qualification scheduled for 26-29 August 2021 in Latvia, Norway and Slovakia – the top-seeded countries that are not qualified yet and battle for their spot with other countries still in the race.

The previous rounds of the Olympic Qualification have been concluded between November 2019 and February 2020. Click here for the Olympic Qualification overview.

The women’s ice hockey tournament will be played with a record number of 10 teams following the approval by the IOC. Same as the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship, the tournament in Beijing will be played with two tiered groups of five. 

The top-five teams according to the 2020 IIHF Women’s World Ranking will play in Group A. The other five teams will compete in Group B with the top-three ranked teams joining the Group A teams for the final round.

Teams from the following countries are qualified:
Group A Group B
USA (1) Japan (6)
Canada (2) Qualifier 1 (7)
Finland (3) Qualifier 2 (8)
Russia (4) Qualifier 3 (9)
Switzerland (5) China (10)

The Olympic Qualification for women’s ice hockey originally scheduled during the 2020/2021 ice hockey season has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will be played between August and November 2021. The Final Olympic Qualification tournaments in November are planned in the Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden. The top-3 countries not qualified yet made use of their right to host these groups. Click here for the full overview.

The teams and management will in most cases resemble those that will have their next and last big events this spring with the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Riga, Latvia, and the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship in Halifax and Truro, Canada.

One big difference will be on the men’s side as the NHL and NHLPA have committed to participate at the next two Olympic Winter Games, subject to further negotiation of terms.

With one year to go, Hockey Canada has announced the management group including Doug Armstrong (General Manager, St. Louis Blues), Ken Holland (Associate General Manager, Edmonton Oilers), Ron Francis (Assistant General Manager, Seattle Kraken), Roberto Luongo (Assistant General Manager, Florida Panthers), Don Sweeney (Assistant General Manager, Boston Bruins) and Scott Salmond (Senior Vice-President of National Teams, Hockey Canada). The management group will be overseen by Tom Renney (CEO Hockey Canada) and Scott Smith (President and COO Hockey Canada).

While the athletes prepare for the big event with one year to go, we will in a few months also know the remaining teams in Beijing 2022.