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FEATURE: 2019 IIHF World Championship Primer

Blackhawks.com sets the stage for the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia

by Chris Wescott / Blackhawks.com

In total, 13 Blackhawks are representing 10 different countries when the 2019 IIHF World Championship tournament begins Friday in Slovakia.

USA - Alex DeBrincat, Patrick Kane (C)

SWEDEN - Erik Gustafsson, Marcus Kruger

CANADA - Dylan Strome

FINLAND - Henri Jokiharju, Kevin Lankinen

GERMANY - Dominik Kahun

RUSSIA - Artem Anisimov

NORWAY - Andreas Martinsen

PROSPECTS:

SWITZERLAND - Philipp Kurashev

CZECH REPUBLIC - Dominik Kubalik

DENMARK - Mathias From

The tournament takes place May 10-26 in Kosice and Bratislava, Slovakia.

THE BREAKDOWN:

Patrick Kane will captain a confident Team USA for the second year in a row. The dynamic Blackhawks superstar is coming off his best NHL season, having recorded a career-high 110 points (44G, 66A). Joining Kane is Blackhawks young phenom Alex DeBrincat. The 21-year-old winger scored 41 goals in 2018-19.

Dylan Strome is Chicago's lone Team Canada representative. He is coming off a breakout season in which he recorded 17 goals and 34 assists in 58 games following his trade to Chicago in November.

Erik Gustafsson also had a breakout season, finishing sixth in NHL scoring among defensemen with 60 points (17G, 43A). He'll represent Sweden, alongside veteran Marcus Kruger who is a pending UFA following a 12-point 2018-19 campaign.

One of the most promising young prospects the Blackhawks have on their back end is Henri Jokiharju and he'll try to help lead the Finns to glory. He split time in his rookie season between the NHL and American Hockey League. He had made strides with Rockford toward the end of the season, posting 17 points (2G, 15A) in 30 games for the IceHogs. Kevin Lankinen joins him on Finland's roster. The 24-year-old goaltender recorded a 2.50 GAA and .910 save percentage in 19 AHL games this year.

Dominik Kahun figures to be a key piece to Germany's World Championship puzzle. The 23-year-old rookie forward had a 37-point season (13G, 24A) for Chicago. He is one of the more offensively dynamic players on Germany's roster.

Norway's Andreas Martinsen is another pending UFA for Chicago. He wore the "A" for the IceHogs this season, recording 11 points (3G, 8A) in 38 games.

Artem Anisimov is Chicago's lone Russian representative. He scored 15 goals and added 22 assists in 78 games for the Blackhawks this season.

As for the Blackhawks prospects participating, Philipp Kurashev is possibly the most intriguing name. The 2018 fourth-round pick is coming off a fantastic final season in the QMJHL, in which he scored 29 goals and added 36 assists in 59 games for Quebec. He was a standout at World Juniors, scoring six goals in seven games during the tournament for his Swiss squad.

This will be Blackhawks fans' first real look at Dominik Kubalik, who Chicago acquired via trade with the Kings during this past season. The 23-year-old Czech forward was dominant in the Swiss league, posting 57 points (25G, 32A) in 50 games for HC Ambri-Piotta. The Blackhawks organization expects him to be on next year's roster.

2016 fifth-rounder Mathias From is representing Denmark in the tournament. The forward is currently unsigned and had a 16-point season (8G, 8A) in 45 games for Allsvenskan in Sweden.

THE GROUPS:

Group A

Canada, USA, Finland, Germany, Slovakia, Denmark, France, Great Britain

Group B

Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Norway, Latvia, Austria, Italy

THE SCHEDULE:

Friday, May 10

Group A

Finland vs. Canada, 9 a.m. CT (NHLN)
United States vs. Slovakia, 1 p.m. CT (NHLN)

Group B

Russia vs. Norway, 9 a.m. CT
Czech Republic vs. Sweden, 1 p.m. CT

Saturday, May 11

Group A

Denmark vs. France, 5 a.m. CT (NHLN)
Germany vs. Great Britain, 9 a.m. CT (NHLN)
Slovakia vs. Finland, 1 p.m. CT (NHLN)

Group B

Switzerland vs. Italy, 5 a.m. CT
Latvia vs. Austria, 9 a.m. CT
Norway vs. Czech Republic, 1 p.m. CT

Sunday, May 12

Group A

United States vs. France, 5 a.m. CT (NHLN)
Denmark vs. Germany, 9 a.m. CT
Great Britain vs. Canada, 1 p.m. CT (NHLN)

Group B

Russia vs. Austria, 5 a.m. CT
Italy vs. Sweden, 9 a.m. CT (NHLN)
Latvia vs. Switzerland, 1 p.m. CT

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