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World Cup: Projected North America roster

by Adam Kimelman and Mike G. Morreale / Winnipeg Jets

Peter Chiarelli and Stan Bowman might have the toughest yet most enviable jobs in the hockey world.

The co-general managers of Team North America for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey will announce the final seven players for the roster later this week.

In March they named nine forwards, four defensemen and three goaltenders to the team. Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel, the first two picks of the 2015 NHL Draft, were among those on the initial roster.

Chiarelli and Bowman have a few more days to make their decision, but NHL.com has made its choices.

THE FINAL 7

F: Alex Galchenyuk (Montreal Canadiens), Auston Matthews (2016 NHL Draft eligible), Mark Scheifele (Winnipeg Jets), Vincent Trocheck (Florida Panthers)

D: Shayne Gostisbehere (Philadelphia Flyers), Colton Parayko (St. Louis Blues), Jacob Trouba (Winnipeg Jets)

Galchenyuk scored 30 goals this season, and in addition to his skill, he can play left wing or center.

The additions of right-shots Scheifele and Trocheck will allow Team North America coach Todd McLellan to play his forwards on their natural side, rather than move players to their off-wings when they might not be comfortable there.

Matthews' excellent play for the United States at the 2016 IIHF World Championship (led team with six goals, tied for team-high nine points in 10 games) earned him a spot on Team North America. He answered any questions about whether he could keep up with NHL-caliber players.

Gostisbehere showcased his offensive skills (17 goals, 29 assists) during a season that saw him set Flyers and NHL rookie defenseman records.

"I think that's a dynamic that we definitely need; every team needs," McLellan said in March. "… He can skate, shoot, run the power play. He's got confidence. He makes other people around him better."

Trouba adds another smooth-skating presence to the defense corps, and Parayko brings a physical element as well as some puck-moving ability.

After naming two left-shot defensemen (Morgan Rielly, Ryan Murray) and two right-shot defenders (Aaron Ekblad, Seth Jones) to the initial roster, the final group of seven has four righties and three lefties.

Potential lineup:

Forwards

Johnny Gaudreau - Connor McDavid - Nathan MacKinnon

Dylan Larkin - Jack Eichel - Vincent Trocheck

Alex Galchenyuk - Auston Matthews - Mark Scheifele

Sean Monahan - Sean Couturier - Brandon Saad

J.T. Miller

Defensemen

Shayne Gostisbehere - Aaron Ekblad

Morgan Rielly - Seth Jones

Ryan Murray - Jacob Trouba

Colton Parayko

Goaltenders

Matt Murray

John Gibson

Connor Hellebuyck

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