Despite the Tampa Bay Lightning missing out on the postseason, a pair of Bolts forwards won’t have to wait until next season to lace up the skates again.
On Wednesday, USA Hockey tabbed both center Nate Thompson
and right wing JT Brown to compete on behalf of Team USA at the IIHF’s 2012 World Championships, to be held in Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden from May 4-20.
Both Thompson and Brown will be making their World Championship debuts.
“It’s going to be a great experience,” Thompson said. “We’ll have a chance to go over there representing the US and hopefully take home gold. It will be very cool.”
Thompson is coming off a season in which he had nine goals and 15 points in 68 games for the Bolts, primarily in a checking role. His 56 blocked shots among team forwards ranked first on the club, while his 107 hits were third.
Brown, meanwhile, made both his professional and Lightning debut on Mar. 31 after being signed by Tampa Bay out of the University of Minnesota-Duluth. In five games with the Bolts, Brown recorded one assist, which accounted for his first career NHL point in the final game of the regular season on Apr. 7 at Winnipeg.
Among other renowned NHLers joining Thompson and Brown on the squad are defensemen Justin Faulk, Cam Fowler, Alex Goligoski and Jack Johnson, as well as forwards Nathan Gerbe, Kyle Okposo, Paul Stastny, Bobby Ryan and Max Pacioretty.
The team will be coached by Toronto Maple Leafs’ assistant Scott Gordon.