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World Cup

Veteran stars lead Team Europe roster

Chara, Hossa lead initial 16-player World Cup group

by Shawn P. Roarke @sroarke_nhl / Director of Editorial

General manager Miroslav Satan used virtually all the countries at his disposal in selecting the first 16 players to Team Europe for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey during a press conference in Toronto on Wednesday.

Seven countries were represented among the 16 players named, with Slovakia leading the way with five players. Denmark had four players named, while Germany and Switzerland each had two players. Slovenia, Austria and Norway were represented by one player each.

Team Europe selections can encompass players from any European country except for Finland, Russia, Sweden and the Czech Republic, each of which has its own team entered into the eight-team tournament, which runs Sept. 17 to Oct. 1 in Toronto.

Video: Team Europe World Cup of Hockey Jersey Reveal

Satan named two goalies, five defenseman and nine forwards Wednesday. The remaining seven players on the 23-man roster must be named by June 1.

Veteran stars dominated the roster, led by Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara of Slovakia. Chara, 38, has played 1,257 NHL games. He is joined by Bruins teammate and occasional defense partner Dennis Seidenberg of Germany. Seidenberg, 34, has 745 NHL games.

Swiss defenseman Mark Streit (38) of the Philadelphia Flyers and Slovakian forward Marian Hossa (37) of the Chicago Blackhawks are the other over-34 players on the initial roster.

At 20, Germany forward Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers is the youngest player on the roster. He is in his first full season in the NHL.

Video: Team Europe GM Miro Satan

Strength of team: Forward depth. Team Europe named nine forwards and each of them, except for the injured Hossa, has at least 13 goals and 30 points. Hossa has 10 goals and 28 points this season but has 1,084 points in his 1,226-game NHL career.

Weakness of team: Lack of chemistry. While there are some NHL teammates on here and many have experience playing with their countrymen on their various national teams, this team has no unifying identity or playing style. Those things will have to be developed in a short training camp, which always is a difficult task

Biggest surprise: The initial roster announcement played out according to plan. For most pundits the 16 players named Wednesday were the 16 most obvious candidates to be named.

Biggest omission: Marian Gaborik. The Slovakian forward is injured and will not return to the Los Angeles Kings until right around the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Perhaps Team Europe's management is playing it cautiously and waiting on a health update to name him to this team.

Frederik Andersen, Anaheim Ducks (Denmark), G
Jaroslav Halak, New York Islanders (Slovakia), G
Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins (Slovakia), D
Roman Josi, Nashville Predators (Switzerland), D
Dennis Seidenberg, Boston Bruins (Germany), D
Andrej Sekera, Edmonton Oilers (Slovakia), D
Mark Streit, Philadelphia Flyers (Switzerland), D
Mikkel Boedker, Colorado Avalanche (Denmark), F
Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers (Germany), F
Jannik Hansen, Vancouver Canucks (Denmark), F
Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks (Slovakia), F
Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings (Slovenia), F
Frans Nielsen, New York Islanders (Denmark), F
Tomas Tatar, Detroit Red Wings (Slovakia), F
Thomas Vanek, Minnesota Wild (Austria), F
Mats Zuccarello, New York Rangers (Norway), F

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