Every team involved in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey had to announce the first 16 players of their roster, including two goaltenders, on Mar. 2. Here’s the first 16 players of the Team North America World Cup roster.
Team North America (and their anarchy logo) looks like it could be a much bigger threat than initially projected. The team sports an incredible group on forward and plenty more talent waiting in the wings.
The team is comprised entirely of U-23 skaters from North America and Canada who are ineligible to be selected to their national teams for the purposes of the World Cup.
John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks
Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
Matt Murray, Pittsburgh Penguins
Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers
Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets
Ryan Murray, Columbus Blue Jackets
Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs
Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers
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
Though they’re probably going to be on the final roster, Philadelphia’s Shayne Gostisbehere, Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk and Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are absences that jump off the page.
Gostisbehere is having a phenomenal rookie year, Nugent-Hopkins has proven himself to be a strong two-way center and Galchenyuk seemed like a sure thing once upon a time.
It’s hard to see how these three aren’t on the final roster, but it would not have been surprising in the least to see their names on this initial announcement.
J.T. Miller jumps ahead of Galchenyuk. It’s not undeserved, but it is unexpected. Miller’s season has earned him the right to be on this squad, but passing Galchenyuk in the eyes of management is a huge vote of confidence in the growth of his game.
The North American goaltending is not as bad as it seemed in the summer, with three strong goaltenders emerging and grabbing significant NHL time in the case of Gibson and Hellebuyck.
The big question will be consistency and if they’re able to handle the big stage. Both Gibson and Hellebuyck performed well in World Junior appearances, but consistency has been an issue this season.
That forward group is very talented and very fast. They even have some strong defensive players with the likes of Couturier and Larkin in there. The speed of Eichel, Gaudreau, MacKinnon, McDavid and Monahan may make this the fastest team in the tournament. They have the potential to go far in the tournament.
More World Cup Roster Announcements:
Team Canada Roster Announcement
Team Czech Republic World Cup Roster Announcement
Team Europe World Cup Roster Announcement
Team Finland World Cup Roster Announcement
Team Russia World Cup Roster Announcement
Team Sweden World Cup Roster Announcement
Team USA World Cup Roster Announcement
Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.