Hockey Canada has announced the first 18 players for the Team Canada roster at the 2016 World Championships. The roster so far is completely comprised of NHL players whose teams are on the outside of the NHL postseason.
Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers
Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche
Brendan Gallagher, Montreal Canadiens
Max Domi, Arizona Coyotes
Sam Reinhart, Buffalo Sabres
Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets
Mark Stone, Ottawa Senators
Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins
Ryan O’Reilly, Buffalo Sabres
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
Cody Ceci, Ottawa Senators
Chris Tanev, Vancouver Canucks
Ben Hutton, Vancouver Canucks
Ryan Murray, Columbus Blue Jackets
Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs
Calvin Pickard, Colorado Avalanche
Cam Talbot, Edmonton Oilers
Toward the World Cup
The most interesting part of the roster at this point is a few players who have a shot at being a part of the Team Canada World Cup roster, but were not named as a part of the first 16 players on the Team Canada World Cup roster.
Those players on the cusp include Hall, Duchene, Gallagher, Marchand and O’Reilly. With no postseason to participate in, the World Championships will serve as their final opportunity to impress Team Canada brass.
The Canadians will be looking to defend their 2015 gold medal finish with a roster that included Sidney Crosby, Tyler Seguin and Hall.
Crosby is a great example of just how this roster can and will change. Players eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, particularly if they’re eliminated early, will have the opportunity to head to Moscow, where the tournament is being held this year.
The number of NHLers on the roster is notable, as many teams wind up pulling players from elsewhere. Coming out of Boston University in 2015, Jack Eichel was a part of the United States roster. This year 2016 draft-eligible forward Auston Matthews has already been named to the U.S. roster. University of Michigan freshman forward Kyle Connor is also expected to be announced as apart of the U.S. roster in their first announcement (even though he was cut from the 2016 World Junior Championship roster).
A number of players have already ruled themselves out for the spring tournament.
P.K. Subban said recently that he hasn’t been cleared to play yet. Dan Hamhuis said he won’t participate largely as a function of hitting free agency this summer. An injury could impact his ability to maximize a new contract.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, another player on the cusp of a World Cup roster nod, though he’d be playing for Team North America and not Team Canada, will not participate either. He’s still working to get his hand back to 100% after an injury earlier in the NHL season.
The 2016 World Championship will kick off on May 6 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.
Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.