Benn, Lehtonen, Nichushkin Chosen For Sochi Olympics

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Three Dallas Stars have been chosen by their respective countries to compete in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia from Feb. 7 to Feb. 23.

Forward Jamie Benn (Canada), goaltender Kari Lehtonen (Finland) and forward Valeri Nichushkin will be making the trip.

“The Dallas Stars are extremely proud of Jamie, Kari and Valeri for being selected to participate at the Olympic Games,” said Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill. “It is a tremendous honor to represent one’s country at the highest international stage and their experience at the Games will be invaluable for our own team as we approach the most competitive portion of our season.”

Benn, who leads Dallas with 22 assists and ranks second in points (37) and goals (15), will be appearing in his first Olympics with Canada. The 24-year-old previously played with Team Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championships and the 2012 World Championships, where he collected five points in eight games.

Benn joins a talented Team Canada, which includes Sidney Crosby, Martin St. Louis and goaltender Roberto Luongo.

Lehtonen will be representing Finland in his first Olympic games and for the ninth time overall. The Dallas goaltender has collected a 16-10-7 record with a 2.68 goals against average and a .914 save percentage this season.

Nichushkin’s sixth international appearance will be his first Olympics. The 18-year-old played a crucial role in Russia’s overtime win against Canada at the 2013 World Junior Championships, scoring the game-winning goal in overtime to capture gold. He ranks third among Dallas teammates with 22 points (9 G, 13 A) and leads the club with a plus-13 rating in 41 games.

Dallas (20-15-7) currently sits two points out of eighth place in the Western Conference.

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