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2018 IIHF World Championship Preview

New Jersey is well represented at the tournament in Denmark which begin on Thursday

by Amanda Stein @AmandaCStein /

Fans of the New Jersey Devils will be able to cheer on some of their favorites as early as Thursday. While the Devils are no longer in the NHL postseason, some of the players have made their way to Denmark to participate in the 2018 IIHF World Hockey Championship. 

The Devils have five players and an assistant coach participating in the championship series that will begin on Thursday, May 4, and end on May 20 when the gold medalists are crowned. 

On each day of the tournament, we'll keep you up-to-date on what your Devils players, coaches and prospects are up to. The Devils have five active players, a prospect and assistant coach Geoff Ward all representing Jersey's Team in Denmark. 

Team USA:

LW Brian Gibbons

After having a career year with the Devils (despite playing in just 59 games due to injury), Brian Gibbons will represent his country for the first time at the World Championship. A hand injury kept Gibbons out for a bulk of the season, but the hard-working forward registered 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 points. 

C/LW Blake Coleman

Coleman just completed his rookie season in the NHL, having earned his spot out on the roster due to a strong training camp. Coleman played in 79 games for the Devils where he picked up 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points and became well-established as New Jersey's gritty penalty killer. 

This will be the first time Coleman skates for the red, white and blue.

D Will Butcher

The rookie defensemen had an impressive first year as an NHL defenseman, totaling 44 points (five goals and 39 assists). He will be a part of the U.S. Men's National Team for the first time at the 2018 Worlds. 

He has represented the United States on four previous occasions, including two U.S. National Junior Teams (2015, 2014) and two U.S. Under-18 Men's National Teams where he won the silver medal in 2013 and gold in 2012. 

G Keith Kinkaid 

Kinkaid emerged as a formidable starting goaltender this season, replacing an injured Cory Schneider midway through the 2017-18 season. Kinkaid, much like his Devils teammates on Team USA had a career year, posting a 26-10-3 record and appearing in 41 games. Kinkaid also started a career-high 38 games this season. 

This will be the second time Kinkaid represents his country at the World Championships. He played in six games during the 2016 tournament. 

Team USA Next Game: May 4, USA vs Canada

Swiss National Team:

D Mirco Mueller

Mueller is no stranger to representing his native country of Switzerland. He has been playing for his countries national team since he was 15 years old and represented Switzerland at International Junior tournaments. He's also skated for Switzerland at the World U-18's and the World Junior Hockey Championship. Once the puck drops in Denmark, Mueller will be competing in his first IIHF World Championship. 

G Gilles Senn

The Devils young goaltending prospect will be competing for a job to protect the Swiss net. Three goaltenders are on the 2018 Swiss team roster. Senn is joined by former NHLer Reto Berra who currently plays for HC Fribourg-Gottéron of the Swiss National League and Leonardo Genoni of HC Bern.

Senn was selected by the Devils, in the 5th round (129th overall) during the 2017 Entry Draft and currently plays in the Swiss National league as HC Davos' goaltender.

Swiss National Team Next Game: May 5, SUI vs AUT

Team Germany:

Assistant Coach Geoff Ward

New Jersey Devils assistant coach Geoff Ward will once again resume his duties behind the bench of Team Germany. For the second consecutive season, Ward will serve as an assistant coach. Ward has long ties to Germany, having spent the 2014-15 season with Adler Mannheim of the German Ice Hockey league, and led the club to a championship and was named Coach of the Year.

Team Germany Next Game: May 4, GER vs DEN

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