Earlier today Hockey Canada announced its on ice leadership group for the upcoming 2018 IIHF World Hockey Championships next month in Denmark.
Given that this is such a young team, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that 21 year old Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid was named team captain for the tournament. Joining his as alternate captains are Buffalo Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly and St. Louis Blues forward Brayden Schenn.
This will be McDavid’s second time representing Canada at the World Championships, having won gold with the team back in 2016. In practice, McDavid has been skating on a line with Oilers teammate Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and New York Islanders winger Josh Bailey. Just how young is this team? The 27 year old Bailey, along with Isles teammate Jordan Eberle are the two oldest individuals on the team.
The team’s preliminary roster, which is juuuuust about complete, was officially released this morning as well:
Goaltender: Darcy Kuemper (Saskatoon, Sask./Arizona) , Michael DiPietro (Amherstburg, Ont./Vancouver) and Curtis McElhinney (London, Ont./Toronto)
Defencemen: Thomas Chabot (Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, Que./Ottawa), Vince Dunn (Lindsay, Ont./St. Louis), Joel Edmundson (Brandon, Man./St. Louis), Aaron Ekblad (Windsor, Ont./Florida), Darnell Nurse (Hamilton, Ont./Edmonton), Colton Parayko (St. Albert, Alta./St. Louis), Ryan Murray (Regina, Sask./Columbus) and Ryan Pulock (Dauphin, Man./New York Islanders)
Forwards: Mathew Barzal (Coquitlam, B.C./New York Islanders), Anthony Beauvillier (Sorel-Tracy, Que./New York Islanders), Jordan Eberle (Regina, Sask./New York Islanders), Bo Horvat (Rodney, Ont./Vancouver), Connor McDavid (Newmarket, Ont./Edmonton), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Burnaby, B.C./Edmonton), Brayden Schenn (Saskatoon, Sask./St. Louis), Jaden Schwartz (Wilcox, Sask./St. Louis), Ryan O’Reilly (Varna, Ont./Buffalo), Pierre-Luc Dubois (Sainte Agathe des Monts, Que./Columbus) and Jean-Gabriel Pageau (Ottawa/Ottawa).
The team's coaching staff will feature the newly hired Bill Peters of the Calgary Flames as head coach. Here's the official coaching team courtesy of Hockey Canada's website:
Bill Peters (Three Hills, Alta./Calgary, NHL) has been named head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Team, the second time he will serve in the role, while Mike Yeo (North Bay, Ont./St. Louis, NHL) will serve as associate coach and Bob Boughner (Windsor, Ont./Florida, NHL) as assistant coach.
“We have a mix of youth and veterans on our team, and the three players chosen to wear a letter know what it takes to be successful in international competition and that will help us be successful in our ultimate goal,” said head coach Bill Peters about his team's leadership group.
The puck drops on the annual tournament this Friday with Canada taking on Team USA to start things off with a bang.