Team North America, née Young Guns, will open the 2016 World Cup of Hockey with a game against Team Finland Sunday. When they hit the ice for the first time, Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray will be the man in net, the team confirmed Sunday.
Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson is going to be the backup, with Winnipeg’s netminder-in-waiting Connor Hellebuyck not suiting up for the game.
Also not suiting up for Team North America will be Rangers forward J.T. Miller and Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba, according to ESPN’s Craig Custance.
The 22-year-old Trouba is one of the elder statesmen on a team with no one older than 23. But he’ll be out, leaving Aaron Ekblad, Shayne Gostisbehere, Seth Jones, Ryan Murray, Colton Parayko and Morgan Rielly as the defenders suiting up.
When camp kicked off, it looked like Auston Matthews, the only player on the team with no NHL experience, might be the odd man out on forward. He was the team’s 13th man during the first practices. But it didn’t take long for him to start climbing the squad’s depth chart. Now, Miller is the scratch and Matthews is seeing time on the team’s power play and is expect to line up alongside Connor McDavid on the team’s top line.
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Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.