photos courtesy under the Creative Commons license
The eight teams competing in this fall’s World Cup of Hockey each named their preliminary rosters of 16 players March 2. The 2016 tournament will take place in Toronto between Sept. 17 and Oct. 1, and will provide a different group of teams represented than in years past.
The teams are split into two groups, A and B, with four teams a side. Group A consists of Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Europe and Team USA. Group B consists of Team Finland, Team North America, Team Russia and Team Sweden to round out the preliminary groups.
Team Europe and Team North America are the new teams that will be competing in Toronto and attempt to include the best players in the world from European countries big and small, and young stars in hockey. Team Europe is compiled of any player from a European country other than Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden. Team North America will be assembled from the best under-23 players out of Canada and the United States. The Team North America players must be born on or after Oct. 1, 1992 to be eligible for the team, but ineligible for Team USA and Team Canada.
The preliminary round will be played between Sept. 17-22. The top two teams from each group will play in the semifinals, Sept. 24-25, then the final two teams standing will play in a best-of-three series on Sept. 27, Sept. 29 and Oct. 1, if necessary.
This is the third installment of the World Cup of Hockey, the previous times coming in 1996 and 2004. Per ESPN NHL insider Pierre Lebrun, the NHL and NHL Players Association have confirmed to make the World Cup of Hockey a regular tournament every four years, like the FIFA World Cup, with the next event scheduled for 2020.
Team North America is the team to watch in this tournament because of the recent youth movement that saw them well represented at the NHL All Star Game in January with five selections.
The entire tournament will feature truly the best of the best, and all of the hockey world is waiting in anticipation for the tournament to begin in the fall.
Benn, Crosby, Doughty, Eichel, Kane, Karlsson, Keith, Kopitar, McDavid, Ovechkin, Price, Tarasenko, Toews. The list goes on and on.
Each team’s first 16 players:
Team Canada – Best team in the world with the best players around. Have unreal talent. Huge favorite.
Goalies: Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks; Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals; Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
Defensemen: Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings; Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks; Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks; Shea Weber, Nashville Predators;
Forwards: Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars; Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins; Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings; Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks; Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars; Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks; John Tavares, New York Islanders
Likely final seven selections: Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks; Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins; Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers; Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers; P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens; Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks; Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames
Team Czech Republic – This team will be in the hands of star-goalie Petr Mrazek as the Czech defense is very limited in skill and ability.
Goalies: Petr Mrazek, Detroit Red Wings; Michal Neuvirth, Philadelphia Flyers; Ondrej Pavelec, Winnipeg Jets
Defensemen: Radko Gudas, Philadelphia Flyers; Michal Kempny, Avangard Omsk (KHL); Roman Polak, San Jose Sharks; Andrej Sustr, Tampa Bay Lightning
Forwards: Michael Frolik, Calgary Flames; Martin Hanzal, Arizona Coyotes; Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks; David Krejci, Boston Bruins; Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning; David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins; Tomas Plekanec, Montreal Canadiens; Vladimir Sobotka, Avangard Omsk (KHL); Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers
Likely final seven selections: Jaromir Jagr, Florida Panthers; Jiri Hudler, Calgary Flames; Radim Vrbata, Vancouver Canucks; Tomas Fleischmann; Chicago Blackhawks; Jakub Kindl, Florida Panthers; Marek Zidlicky, New York Islanders; Zbynek Michalek, Arizona Coyotes
Team Europe – Solid goaltending and veteran leadership from Chara, Kopitar and Hossa may not be enough to legitimately contend in the tournament from a probable lack of chemistry throughout the team.
Goalies: Frederik Andersen, Anaheim Ducks (Denmark); Jaroslav Halak, New York Islanders (Slovakia)
Defensemen: Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins (Slovakia); Roman Josi, Nashville Predators (Switzerland); Dennis Seidenberg, Boston Bruins (Germany); Andrej Sekera, Edmonton Oilers (Slovakia); Mark Streit, Philadelphia Flyers (Switzerland)
Forwards: Mikkel Boedker, Colorado Avalanche (Denmark); Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers (Germany); Jannik Hansen, Vancouver Canucks (Denmark); Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks (Slovakia); Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings (Slovenia); Frans Nielsen, New York Islanders (Denmark); Tomas Tatar, Detroit Red Wings (Slovakia); Thomas Vanek, Minnesota Wild (Austria); Mats Zuccarello, New York Rangers (Norway)
Likely final seven selections: Nikolaj Ehlers, Winnipeg Jets; Tobias Rieder, Arizona Coyotes; Marian Gaborik, Los Angeles Kings; Christian Ehrhoff, Chicago Blackhawks; Reto Berra, Colorado Avalanche; Thomas Vanek, Minnesota Wild; Yannick Weber, Vancouver Canucks
Team Finland – The team is full of good, young players with some veterans in Koivu, Filppula, Jokinen, Rinne and Rask. Should be a tough out.
Goalies: Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins; Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
Defensemen: Esa Lindell, Dallas Stars; Olli Maatta, Pittsburgh Penguins; Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo Sabres; Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks
Forwards: Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers; Joonas Donskoi, San Jose Sharks; Valterri Filppula, Tampa Bay Lightning; Mikael Granlund, Minnesota Wild; Jussi Jokinen, Florida Panthers; Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild; Leo Komarov, Toronto Maple Leafs; Lauri Korpikoski, Edmonton Oilers; Jori Lehtera, St. Louis Blues; Teuvo Teravainen, Chicago Blackhawks
Likely final seven selections: Iiro Pakarinen, Edmonton Oilers; Teemu Pulkkinen, Detroit Red Wings; Petteri Lindbohm, St. Louis Blues; Jyrki Jokipakka, Calgary Flames; Joonas Korpisalo, Columbus Blue Jackets; Jusso Hietanen, Dynamo Moscow (KHL)
Team North America – The fast, dynamic under-23 team is sure to make some noise in September with a top goalie in John Gibson and starpower in McDavid, Eichel, Ekblad and more.
Goalies: John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks; Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets; Matt Murray, Pittsburgh Penguins
Defensemen: Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers; Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets; Ryan Murray, Columbus Blue Jackets; Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs
Forwards: Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres; Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames; Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings; Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche; Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers; J.T. Miller, New York Rangers; Sean Monahan, Calgary Flames; Brandon Saad, Columbus Blue Jackets
Likely final seven selections: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers; Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal Canadiens; Max Domi, Arizona Coyotes; Boone Jenner, Columbus Blue Jackets; Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia Flyers; Matt Dumba, Minnesota Wild; Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg Jets
Team Russia – An offensive monster and top-notch goaltending that is going to be tough to stop for any team in the tournament. But the defense lacking in talent will be tough to overcome.
Goalies: Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets; Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche; Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning
Defensemen: Dmitry Kulikov, Florida Panthers; Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens; Dmitry Orlov, Washington Capitals
Forwards: Artem Anisimov, Chicago Blackhawks; Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings; Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning; Nikolay Kulemin, New York Islanders; Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals; Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; Vladislav Namestnikov, Tampa Bay Lightning; Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals; Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks; Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
Likely final seven selections:: Ilya Kovalchuk, SKA Saint Petersburg (KHL); Valeri Nichushkin, Dallas Stars; Alexei Emelin, Montreal Canadiens; Evgeny Medvedev, Philadelphia Flyers; Anton Belov, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL); Maxim Chudinov, SKA Saint Petersburg (KHL); Slava Voynov, SKA Saint Petersburg (KHL)
Team Sweden – The defense is incredible led by Lundqvist in goal and the 2015 Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson. The offense isn’t too shabby either.
Goalies: Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers; Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks;
Defensemen: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes; Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning Niklas Hjalmarsson, Chicago Blackhawks; Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators; Niklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings; Anton Stralman, Tampa Bay Lightning
Forwards: Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals; Loui Eriksson, Boston Bruins; Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators; Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche; Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks; Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks; Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues; Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
Likely final seven selections: Marcus Kruger, Chicago Blackhawks; Patric Hornqvist, Pittsburgh Penguins; Mika Zibanejad, Ottawa Senators; John Klingberg, Dallas Stars; Jonas Gustavsson, Boston Bruins; Carl Hagelin, Pittsburgh Penguins; Gustav Nyquist, Detroit Red Wings
Team USA – Led by Patrick Kane, the USA has the best player in the world, but will need to use it’s fantastic goalkeeping and solid play all around to play with the top dogs, Canada and Sweden.
Goalies: Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning; Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings; Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils
Defensemen: Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets; John Carlson, Washington Capitals; Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers; Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild
Forwards: Justin Abdelkader, Detroit Red Wings; Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks; Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens; Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild; Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; Derek Stepan, New York Rangers; T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals; Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets
Likely final seven selections: Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins; Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators; Cam Fowler, Anaheim Ducks; James van Riemsdyk, Toronto Maple Leafs; Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes; Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues; Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning