ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Over the last few days, we have seen a ton of excitement with the 2018 Olympics. This week, the preliminary rounds started for women's and men's hockey. For the men's teams, this year is different because there are no NHL players hitting the ice. The Odessa Jackalopes had some thoughts on the Olympics without the NHL stars.
"The hockey isn't as fun as usual since there's no NHL players," said Viktor Johansson.
Back in April of 2017, the NHL announced that they will not participate in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics for various reasons. One of them was having to take a 17-day break in their schedule. NHL players have participated in the winter games for five consecutive Winter Olympics and this year there will be unfamiliar faces on the ice.
"It's both bad and good. I think it's good for European players in the European leagues to get their opportunity to play at a big tournament," said Lucas Andersson.
"I'd rather see the NHL players in there. I mean I'm a big Edmonton Oilers fan so Connor McDavid won't get to see that action and I kind of wanted to see him in that red and white. I don't know, Canada will win gold either way so it is what it is," said Brett Epp.
Among the United States roster, there are four college players. One of them hitting close to home for Jacks forward, Blake Bride.
"Troy Terry on the men's hockey team. I played with him when I was little, he's from Colorado. He plays for DU and I grew up playing against him and with him and I'm actually really good friends with him. When I was little, he was the best player out there and you just look up and see how good he is. It's good to see his talent paid off. To see him get to places like that is really cool and I enjoy watching him there," said Bride.
While the men on the ice may be different than years prior, the games will still be just as exciting to watch.
"It'll be interesting with no NHL players in it. It'll be like the old days. It'll be fun to watch," said Epp.
The U.S. lost their first game 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday and are looking to redeem themselves against Slovakia.