ARLINGTON, Va. – Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen has been selected to represent the United States at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Niskanen joins Capitals teammates Nicklas Backstrom (Sweden), John Carlson (United States), Braden Holtby (Canada), Evgeny Kuznetsov (Russia), Dmitry Orlov (Russia), T.J. Oshie (United States) and Alex Ovechkin (Russia) at the tournament. In addition, Capitals head coach Barry Trotz will serve as an assistant coach for Team Canada. The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will be held in Toronto from Sept. 17, 2016, through Oct. 1, 2016. The eight-team tournament will feature Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, Team Europe, Team North America and the United States.
Niskanen, 29, represented the United States at the 2009 World Championship and the 2006 World Junior Championship. The Virginia, Minn., native registered 32 points (five goals, 27 assists) in 82 games this season. Niskanen reached the 30-point plateau for the fourth time in his career and registered a career high in power-play points (16). He played in all 82 games for the second time in his career and led the Capitals in time on ice per game (24:39). The 6’1”, 200-pound defenseman ranked second on the team in blocked shots (145) and third in hits (157) and ranked second among Capitals defensemen in points and assists and third in goals.
Four teams participating in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey will hold pre-tournament practices and exhibition games in Washington, D.C., from Sept. 12-15, 2016. The United States, featuring Carlson, Niskanen and Oshie, will face Finland on Sept. 13, at Verizon Center and Sweden, featuring Backstrom, will face Team Europe on Sept. 14. In addition, Verizon Center and Kettler Capitals Iceplex will host practices for the United States, Sweden, Finland and Team Europe. Practice dates and times will be announced at a later date.