Connor McDavid has been named the captain of Team North America at the World Cup, the team announced on Thursday. Sean Couturier and Aaron Ekblad were named alternate captains.
— Team North America (@TeamNA_WCH) September 8, 2016
McDavid, 19, is considered to be the favorite to wear the “C” with the Edmonton Oilers beginning in 2016-17– a decision general manager Peter Chiarelli said will be made at training camp. In his rookie season in 2015-16 with the Oilers, McDavid scored 16 goals and 32 assists in 45 games and took his game to another level after missing 37 games with a broken clavicle.
Couturier, 23, is a five-year veteran with the Philadelphia Flyers and has scored 56 goals and 101 assists in 350 career NHL games. Originally drafted by the Flyers eighth overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Couturier registered 39 points in 63 games in 2015-16. At 23, Couturier is one of the oldest players on a North American team made up of the best players from the United States and Canada 23 years of age or younger as of Oct. 1, 2016.
Ekblad, 20, will be one of the leaders on Team North America’s blue line and is a two-time NHL all-star and Calder Trophy winner in his first two NHL seasons. Earlier this summer, he signed an eight-year contract extension with the Florida Panthers cementing his status as a cornerstone player for the club. In 159 career NHL games, Ekblad has scored 27 goals and 48 assists while quickly emerging as a leader on a young team. Ekblad last competed internationally with Team Canada at the 2015 World Championships where he registered seven points in 10 games and helped his country to the gold medal.
The World Cup takes place from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1 with all games being played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
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