Four players from the Colorado Avalanche have been selected to represent Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship. Forwards Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon, defenseman Tyson Barrie and goaltender Calvin Pickard were named to the roster by Hockey Canada on Wednesday.
This will be Barrie's second time competing for Canada at the World Championship after he helped the squad win a gold medal in 2015. That year, he tallied one goal and five assists in 10 games and finished with a plus-12 rating, tied for the third best among all skaters at the event. Barrie also won a silver medal with Canada at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, where the Victoria, British Columbia, native recorded one goal and two assists in seven games. The defenseman registered seven goals and 31 assists in 74 contests with Colorado this season.
Duchene will make his sixth appearance in the tournament after winning back-to-back gold medals with Canada the past two years. During the 2015 competition, the Haliburton, Ontario, native tallied 12 points (four goals and eight assists), tied for third among tournament scorers. He finished the 2016 event tied for second on Canada in goals (five) and points (10). Duchene has collected 17 goals and 17 assists in 42 games over his five years competing for Canada at the World Championship.
As a 23-year-old in 2014, Duchene helped the Canadian squad win the gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Duchene added more hardware this past September when he picked up four points (two goals, two assists) to help Canada to the championship at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, Ontario. With the Avalanche this past season, he finished with 18 goals and 23 assists in 77 games.
MacKinnon will compete at Worlds with Team Canada for the third time after previously appearing in the 2014 and 2015 tournaments. During Canada's gold-medal run in 2015, MacKinnon recorded four goals and five assists in 10 games, including a tally in the final against Russia. The Halifax, Nova Scotia-born forward has totaled five goals and eight assists in 17 career World Championship games.
MacKinnon also represented his country at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, and he was also a member of the 23-and-under Team North America at last September's World Cup of Hockey. MacKinnon is coming off an NHL campaign where he led the Avs in scoring with 53 points (16 goals and 37 assist) while playing in all 82 contests.
Pickard returns to Canada's roster at after making his World Championship debut and winning a gold medal in 2016. Born in Moncton, New Brunswick, Pickard went 2-0 in his two appearances last year and recorded one shutout. The netminder allowed only one goal on 35 shots, registering a 0.50 goals-against average and .971 save percentage. He also represented his homeland at the 2010 IIHF Under-18 World Championship. This past season with Colorado, Pickard posted a 15-31-2 record, 2.98 goals against average and .904 save percentage while playing in a career-high 50 games.
The 2017 tournament runs May 5-21 in Cologne, Germany, and Paris, France. Canada is looking to become the first three-peat winner at the World Championship since the Czech Republic in 1999, 2000 and 2001.
Canada is in Group B and will face the Czech Republic at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris for its first game of the preliminary round on May 5.