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 Europe World Cup roster.
One of two non-nation teams in the World Cup of Hockey, Team Europe includes players from European nations other than Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic.
Slovakia leads the way for Team Europe with five players. Denmark isn’t far behind with four. They’re followed by Switzerland and Germany, who have two each. Slovenia, Austria and Norway will have one representative each.
That’s a bitter victory for Slovakia, who proves that they were the front runner to have a team next out of the World Cup contenders. They may have even more players on the final roster with at least one notable Slovakian omission from the below group.
Frederik Andersen, Anaheim Ducks (Denmark)
Jaroslav Halak, New York Islanders (Slovakia)
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)
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)
Minnesota Wild forward Nino Niederreiter is notably absent from the roster. That’s a bit surprising, with him showing a strong two-way game this year. He’s also outscored Hansen, in addition to having great size and defensive ability.
The omission that immediately jumps out is Marian Gaborik. He’s currently injured and hasn’t had a great season, but he remains a notable exclusion from this initial roster.
Hansen didn’t make many projected rosters, let alone the first 16 to be announced. Yet, he’s had a fairly productive season, scoring 19 goals and 32 points in 57 games so far.
Also notable is the inclusion of Draisaitl. He’s gone from starting the season in the AHL to being among the first announced for the Team Europe World Cup roster. That’s an impressive rise in just five months.
Depth is going to be an issue. There are a lot of outstanding players at every position, but this roster begs the question how steep the talent drop off will be once the full roster is revealed.
Goaltending may also be an issue. Andersen and Halak are certainly capable NHL starters, but neither are among the world’s elite. That may be a problem with a defensive group that is solid, but may struggle to keep up with the offensive power of teams like Canada and Russia.
Up front the forward group is a diverse, with elite two-way players in Hossa and Kopitar, as well as lots of specialists. There’s skill in many areas, some size, some speed and they’ve got some strong power play guys like Boedker in there.
More World Cup Roster Announcements:
Team Canada Roster Announcement
Team Czech Republic World Cup Roster Announcement
Team Finland World Cup Roster Announcement
Team North America 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.