With the 2012 IIHF World Championship in full swing, the Friday Five looked at the impressive international résumés of some of the Blackhawks current players.
1. After winning gold with Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Jonathan Toews became the youngest Canadian in history to join the "Triple Gold Club," earning gold medals at the World Junior Championship, World Championship and the Olympics.
The Winnipeg native was honored with a Directorate Award as the Olympic tournament's top forward, leading Team Canada with eight points (G, 7A) and all tournament participants with a +9 plus/minus rating. Toews won two gold medals with Team Canada at the 2006 and 2007 World Junior Championships. Later that year, Toews took home another gold medal as the only non-NHL player at the 2007 World Championships, registering seven points in nine games after completing just his second year of college hockey.
2. In his Olympic debut at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Marian Hossa posted six points (4G, 2A) in two games for Slovakia.
Hossa has registered 80 points (37G, 43A) in 78 international appearances for Slovakia. Most recently, Hossa notched two points (G, A) in five contests at the 2011 World Championship in Slovkia. Hossa has skated for Slovakia in the World Championship seven times since 1997, posting a total of 39 points (15G, 24A) in 47 contests.
3. Patrick Kane won a gold medal at the 2006 U18 World Championships, recording a team-high seven goals and tournament-high 12 points in six games.
The Buffalo native was selected to the First All-Star Team after sharing first on his team with 10 points at the 2008 World Junior Championship. Kane earned a silver medal as the youngest medalist on his team at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. In 13 international appearances for the United States, Kane has recorded 15 points (6G, 9A).
4. Marcus Kruger captured a silver medal and recorded three points (2G, 1A) in nine games for Sweden at the 2011 World Championship.
At the 2010 World Junior Championship, Kruger ranked third on Team Sweden with six assists in six games, en route to the bronze medal. The Stockholm native has registered four points (2G, 2A) in four games in the 2012 World Championship.
5. Duncan Keith won a gold medal with Team Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, averaging a team-high 20:44 of ice time.
Keith took home his first gold medal alongside teammates Toews and Brent Seabrook for host-country Canada in Vancouver. Keith currently leads all Canadian skaters with 90:41 total minutes played in four games in the 2012 World Championships, over seven minutes more than the next teammate.
There is considerable depth of international experience on the Blackhawks roster and selecting the top 5 most impressive international careers was difficult. Thus, Honorable Mentions go out to the following players:
- Sami Lepisto has captured one gold and three bronze medals with Team Finland.
- Michael Frolik recorded five points (3G, 2A) and a +4 plus/minus rating in nine games at the 2011 World Championship for the bronze medal-winning Czech Republic.
- Brent Seabrook won a gold medal competing for Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and another in the 2005 U20 World Junior Championship.
- Nick Leddy won a bronze medal with Team USA at the 2011 World Junior Championship, posting two assists and a +1 plus/minus rating in five contests.
- Dave Bolland captured the gold medal with Team Canada in the 2006 World Junior Championship.
Check back next week as the Friday Five remembers the international careers of Blackhawks alumni!