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Seven Canes Featured in World Championship Prelims

Preliminary round features seven games for each team, runs May 5-16

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

Seven Carolina Hurricanes players will represent their respective countries in the 2017 IIHF World Championship, which takes place in Paris, France, and Cologne, Germany, from Friday, May 5 through Sunday, May 21.

Noah Hanifin will again don the stars and stripes for Team USA, Jeff Skinner will look to help Team Canada win a third straight gold medal, Sebastian Aho will again skate with the Finnish national team and the quartet of Elias Lindholm, Victor Rask, Joakim Nordstrom and Eddie Lack will compete with the Swedes.

Noah Hanifin: United States

Hanifin will make his second straight appearance in World Championship competition, but he's no stranger to international competition with Team USA. The sophomore defenseman is a product of the United States National Team Development Program and won gold with the Americans at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2014 U18 World Junior Championship. He also skated with Team USA at the 2015 World Junior Championship. Hanifin tallied 29 points (4g, 25a) in 81 games with the Canes in the 2016-17 season.

Jeff Skinner: Canada

On the heels of a career season, Skinner will make his fourth appearance at the World Championship with Team Canada, as they look for back-to-back-to-back gold medals. Skinner has recorded 15 points (8g, 7a) in three previous years of Worlds competition, his most recent of which came in 2013. The 24-year-old winger tallied a career-high 37 goals and matched his career-best point total from his rookie season (63) in 79 games with the Canes in the 2016-17 season.

Sebastian Aho: Finland

After playing in all 82 games during his rookie campaign with the Hurricanes, Aho will make his second consecutive World Championship appearance with the Finnish national team. With 14 points (5g, 9a) in seven games, Aho helped lead the Finns to a gold medal in the 2016 World Junior Championship. Aho also competed with Team Finland in the World Cup of Hockey in September before assembling a breakout rookie season with the Hurricanes, in which he ranked second on the team in both goals (24) and points (49).

Elias Lindholm, Victor Rask, Joakim Nordstrom, Eddie Lack: Sweden

Lindholm and Rask each tallied 45 points with the Hurricanes in the 2016-17 season, and it was a career campaign for Lindholm in terms of assists (34) and point total. The two were also teammates on Sweden's bronze medal-winning team at the 2015 World Championship, and they're each making their second appearance in the tournament.

This marks Nordstrom's debut in the World Championship. In previous international competition, Nordstrom captured a gold medal with Team Sweden at the 2012 World Junior Championship. The 25-year-old forward posted 12 points (7g, 5a) while playing in all 82 games with the Canes in the 2016-17 season.

Lack is not only making his World Championship debut but also his first appearance in international play with the Swedish national team. Lack missed a substantial amount of time in the 2016-17 season with a pair of concussions, but posted a 6-3-1 record from early March on down the stretch.

Preliminary Round Schedule

Preliminary round action consists of seven games for each team and runs May 5-16. The United States and Sweden are in one group, while Canada and Finland sit in the group opposite. The top four teams in each group will advance beyond round-robin play, and following the quarterfinals and semifinals on May 18 and 20, respectively, medal games will conclude the tournament on Sunday, May 21.

NHL Network will air 27 preliminary round games, including 17 games featuring Canes players, and all Team USA games in the tournament will be televised live across NHL Network and NBCSN and will be available for live streaming in and in the NBC Sports app.

A full schedule, which will be regularly updated as the preliminary round progresses, can be found below.

2017 IIHF World Championship Preliminary Round
May 5 Sweden vs. Russia 1-2 (SO) NHL Network
May 5 Finland vs. Belarus 3-2  
May 5 USA vs. Germany 1-2 NHL Network
May 5 Czech Republic vs. Canada 1-4 NHL Network (tape delay)
May 6 Germany vs. Sweden 2-7 NHL Network
May 7 Slovenia vs. Canada 2-7 NHL Network
May 7 USA vs. Denmark 7-2 NHL Network
May 7 Finland vs. France 1-5  
May 8 Belarus vs. Canada 0-6 NHL Network
May 8 USA vs. Sweden 4-3 NHL Network
May 8 Finland vs. Czech Republic 3-4 (SO)  
May 10 USA vs. Italy 3-0 NBCSN
May 10 Finland vs. Slovenia 5-2 NHL Network
May 11 Sweden vs. Latvia 2-0  
May 11 Canada vs. France 3-2 NHL Network
May 12 Sweden vs. Italy 8-1  
May 13 Latvia vs. USA 3-5 NHL Network
May 13 Norway vs. Finland 2-3  
May 13 Canada vs. Switzerland 2-3 (OT) NHL Network
May 14 Slovakia vs. USA 1-6 NHL Network
May 14 Denmark vs. Sweden 2-4 NHL Network
May 14 Switzerland vs. Finland 2-3 (OT)  
May 15 Canada vs. Norway 5-0 NHL Network
May 16 Sweden vs. Slovakia 4-2 NHL Network
May 16 Russia vs. USA 3-5 NBCSN
May 16 Canada vs. Finland 5-2 NHL Network

All times listed in Eastern Standard Time.

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