Canada’s loss having six teams out of the playoffs is Hockey Canada’s gain for the upcoming world championship.
On Thursday Canada unveiled its first group of 20 players for next month’s IIHF world hockey championship, which features 12 players from Canadian markets.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are well represented with goaltender James Reimer, defenceman Morgan Rielly and centre Nazem Kadri.
Twelve of the 20 players are in Canadian markets: the three Leafs, goaltender Ben Scrivens and forward David Perron from the Edmonton Oilers; defenceman Marc Methot and forward Kyle Turris from the Ottawa Senators; defencemen Kevin Bieksa and Jason Garrison and forward Alexandre Burrows from the Vancouver Canucks; forward Sean Monahan from the Calgary Flames and forward Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets.
The Washington Capitals have three players (Troy Brouwer, Jason Chimera and Joel Ward) while the Buffalo Sabres (defenceman Tyler Myers and forward Cody Hodgson) and Florida Panthers (defenceman Erik Gudbranson and forward Jonathan Huberdeau) each have two.
Defenceman Ryan Ellis of the Nashville Predators rounds out the initial roster.
As expected in an Olympic year, Team Canada will have a young group that doesn’t overlap with those who won a gold medal in Sochi. But coach Dave Tippett likes what he has.
“Obviously coming off an Olympic year there’s going to be a lot of those names that are going to be much different than the Olympic team,” Tippett said in a phone interview Wednesday. “But that being said they’re all NHL players, they’re there for a reason and I like our combination.
“We’ve got some grit there, we’ve got some guys that can defend, we’ve got some good skill. So far it looks very good.”
More players will be added before the tournament starts in Minsk, Belarus, on May 9. That gives Canada some time to consider players on the eight teams eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Teams can only register a total of 25 players for the tournament.
Team Canada World Championship Roster By Position
Goaltenders: James Reimer, Ben Scrivens
Defencemen: Morgan Rielly, Ryan Ellis, Tyler Myers, Jason Garrison, Kevin Bieksa, Marc Methot, Erik Gudbranson
Forwards: Cody Hodgson, Nazem Kadri, Mark Scheifele, David Perron, Kyle Turris, Troy Brouwer, Alexandre Burrows, Joel Ward, Jason Chimera, Jonathan Huberdeau, Sean Monahan