Seven players from the Colorado Avalanche organization will represent their home countries when they take the ice at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, which begins this Friday and runs until May 22 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.
Forward Matt Duchene and goaltender Calvin Pickard were named to Team Canada, the defending gold medal champions. Duchene, who was selected as an alternate captain for the team on Thursday, has played at four previous World Championships and the 2014 Winter Olympics for Canada. This will be the first time that Pickard has represented his native country as a professional.
Forward Andreas Martinsen, one of two NHL players from Norway, will play in his seventh consecutive World Championship. He has registered four points (one goal, three assists) in 39 career games at the annual tournament.
Netminder Reto Berra helped the Swiss to a silver medal three years ago and will again try to find the podium with his country. He represented Switzerland at the 2014 Winter Olympics, and this will be the fifth consecutive World Championship that the 29-year-old has played in.
Right wing Mikko Rantanen captained Team Finland to a gold medal at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in January and will be looking to win another title. He had two goals and three assists in seven outings at the World Juniors, including a crucial marker in the third period of the final.
Prospects JT Compher (United States) and Anton Lindholm (Sweden) will both play for their respective countries for the first time at the tournament. Compher was a member of Team USA at the 2015 World Junior Championship and spent two years at the National Team Development Program, where he played on the U-17 and U-18 squads. Lindholm has played in 18 contests for his country’s junior teams.
Goaltender Semyon Varlamov was named to Team Russia’s training camp roster for Worlds but will not play in the tournament due to an injury, according to the Russian Ice Hockey Federation.
The 16 countries participating in the tournament were divided into two groups for the preliminary round. The top-four teams from each group will then advance to a single-elimination playoff.
On Tuesday, Team USA lost 3-2 in overtime to Finland in the squad’s lone exhibition outing. Compher found the back of the net to tie the contest 15 seconds after the United States had its first power-play opportunity of the game. Rantanen registered one shot on goal and did not find the scoresheet for the Finns.
Team USA games will be aired on NBCSN in the United States, with an online stream available on NBC Sports Live Extra. All 64 games of the tournament will be televised in Canada on TSN.