Hello and welcome back to the final edition of my way too Early 2026 Olympic Roster Predictions!
I will wrap things up by looking at four nations that have all enjoyed various periods of success on the international stage, but all look set to once again reach the peak of their powers in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Switzerland.
Although these nations are heavy underdogs against the big five nations I have covered in Part I and II, they all possess cores of very promising young players. In writing today’s article, I realized just how competitive international hockey is becoming.
For help in making the rosters, I enlisted the help of our Central European Scout, Sam Tirpák. Sam made all the wonderful-looking rosters and wrote a bit on how he thinks his home team, Slovakia, will do, as well as the Czechs.
You can follow him on Twitter @SammyT_51!
The Slovak team in 2026 should be a lot of fun. Young guns like Juraj Slafkovský, Dalibor Dvorský, Filip Mešár are all going to be in their early 20s and more dangerous than ever. Then you have guys like Ondrej Molnár and Alex Čiernik, who are just supremely dynamic and creative offensively and push play in the right direction. There will be some veteran presence in 34-year old Tomáš Tatar and 35-year old Michal Krištof – I expect Tatar to still be a good NHLer by 2026 and Krištof to be one of the best playmaking centers in central Europe. The Slovak team is developing in a direction that is similar to the Toronto Maple Leafs system, which is based around heavy forechecking and playing with pace. The fourth line here embodies that philosophy.
On defense, there are a lot of puck-moving defensemen, including highly-touted prospect Šimon Nemec. But we cannot forget about guys like Capitals d-man Martin Feherváry and Erik Černák of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are both also prolific puck-moving two-way rearguards. I expect some experienced European league players like Christian Jaroš, who would be around 30 years of age at the time, and Mislav Rosandič, who is going to be around that same age, to make the cut. Slovak goaltending is going to have a blast in the next decade or so with lots of young goalies coming up.
I expect this team to be excellent in all aspects of the game and to really push for a spot in the semifinals of the tournament in 2026. I’m not sure if they are going to medal, but they can push for the semifinals spot, for sure.