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Tyler Seguin expects to return for World Cup

Stars center 'feeling great,' looking forward to playing for Canada in tournament

by Steve Hunt / NHL.com Correspondent

RICHARDSON, Texas -- Tyler Seguin is ready to play competitive hockey again, and his first opportunity likely will come next month at the World Cup of Hockey 2016.

Seguin, 24, was second on the Dallas Stars with 73 points (33 goals, 40 assists) last season, but an Achilles injury and then a calf injury caused him to miss all but one game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Video: Seguin on World Cup experience and health

"[I'm] doing well," Seguin said Saturday at an appearance for the Stars Hockey Academy. "[It's been a] bit of a different summer as far as training-wise just coming off an injury, but feeling great and looking forward to the World Cup."

Seguin played in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round against the Minnesota Wild but didn't play in the second round against the St. Louis Blues. He has been rehabbing since mid-May and feels ready for the first practice on Sept. 5 with Canada prior to the World Cup beginning in Toronto on Sept. 17.

Stars captain Jamie Benn, who signed an eight-year, $76 million contract extension on July 15, likely will join Seguin at the World Cup for Canada provided Benn's recovery from offseason surgery to repair a core muscle issue goes as planned.

Seguin is entering his fourth season in Dallas after being traded from the Boston Bruins on July 4, 2013. He said his time with the Stars has gone quickly, but he has learned a lot, forged a strong friendship with Benn, and is looking forward to playing with him at the World Cup.

"Being selected for this stuff is always obviously an honor and cool to go yourself, but to share that with a teammate is something pretty special," Seguin said. "Even something like the All-Star Game last year, going with him for the first time, it's just something special you can share. I'm sure the World Cup's going to be pretty great."

Seguin said he spoke to Benn after his teammate signed his extension, and said he is happy the Stars captain was rewarded for his accomplishments, which include winning the League scoring title in 2014-15 with 87 points and finishing second to Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (106) with an NHL career-high 89 (41 goals, 48 assists) last season.

"[I] just said, 'Congrats and save some for the rest of us,'" Seguin said. "I think he's deserved everything. I think he's a great leader, a great teammate and obviously a great linemate, so I was definitely excited for him."

Seguin was 12 when the last World Cup of Hockey was played in 2004, so he doesn't remember much about it but has seen plenty of highlights. He knows what a great experience this tournament will be for fans and players alike.

"I don't know if many people know what to expect yet or if even the players know what it's going to be like, but I'm putting expectations pretty high," Seguin said. "I think it's the best of the best and going to be a great tournament."

Once the World Cup ends, which could be as late as Oct. 1, Seguin knows he will have to quickly shift gears; the Stars open the regular season Oct. 13 against the Anaheim Ducks at American Airlines Center.

Unlike past offseasons, including when general manager Jim Nill acquired Seguin in 2013, veteran center Jason Spezza in 2014 and forward Patrick Sharp in 2015, it has been a relatively quiet summer in Dallas, although veteran defenseman Dan Hamhuis was signed as a free agent

With a strong returning core, Seguin likes the Stars' chances this season after finishing as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference last season.

"[It's a] young man's game now," Seguin said. "I'm starting to feel a little bit old turning 25 with all of these changes, but I think our team has been great the last couple years. Our window really just opened, so that part's exciting. Getting a veteran guy like [Dan] Hamhuis, it makes you even more excited for the season to start."

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