The Winnipeg Jets will have four players suiting up for their respective countries at the 2013 IIHF Men’s World Championship that runs May 3-19th, in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden. Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec will mind the net for the Czech Republic, forward Andrew Ladd will suit up for Team Canada, Jacob Trouba will join Team USA and Arturs Kulda will play for Latvia.
Ladd, 27, played all 48 games for the Winnipeg Jets this season. In that time, the Maple Ridge, BC native led the Jets with 46 points (18G, 28A) and 22 penalty minutes. He lead the team in both points and assists, and tied the team lead in game winning goals with four.
Ladd was part of the Team Canada’s gold medal squad at the 2005 World Junior Championships in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He played in the 2011 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia where he appeared in seven games for two points. He also played for Canada at the 2012 World Championship, in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden. He tallied a goal and four assists in eight games.
Ondrej Pavelec will make his third World Championship appearance with the Czech Republic this year. He played in one game at the 2010 World Championship in Germany. He then started for the Czech team at the 2011 World Championship where he appeared in eight games, picking up six wins for his team with a .939% save percentage. Earlier in his career, Pavelec donned his country’s colours at the 2006-07 World Junior Championships in Sweden and at the 2004-05 World Junior Ice Hockey U-18 Championships.
Pavelec played 44 games with the Winnipeg Jets during the shortened 2012-13 season. In those games, he went 21-20-3 with a .905% save-percentage.
“I had talked to the coach (Czech Republic) a few weeks ago and told him if we were out of the playoffs, then I would like to go (play at the WC in Sweden),” Pavelec told media the day after the final game of the Jets regular season. “I just don’t feel like it’s over to be honest. I don’t want to go home and do nothing, I want to keep playing and this is a chance to keep playing”.
In addition to those two Jets, Jacob Trouba was also invited to the U.S. Men’s National Team Training Camp.
“It’s definitely going to be cool,” said Trouba. “I’m not really expecting much going there but I’m just going to feel my way through it and get the chance to play against some pretty good NHL players, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Trouba, 19, played in 37 games with the University of Michigan Wolverines during the 2012-13 season. In that time, the Rochester, MI native recorded 29 points (12G, 17A) along with 88 penalty minutes. Trouba was named to the 2013 CCHA All-Rookie Team (which was determined by a vote of the conference’s head coaches), and was also named Best Offensive defenceman for the CCHA.
Trouba has won three medals for Team USA during his career, most recently a gold medal at the 2013 World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia. He also took home a gold medal at the 2011 World Junior Ice Hockey U-18 Championships and a silver medal in the 2010 World U-17 Hockey Challenge.
Other strong candidates for this year’s World Championship could have been Tobias Enstrom, Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian and Jim Slater. Unfortunately, after the season came to a close, those players stated that their current health condition would not allow them to attend, had they gotten the invitation. Each one of them has previous experience suiting up for their countries at past World Championship tournaments.