It was an opportunity that just couldn't be passed up, having the chance to play in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Regardless of the expectations - high or low - that each team may have had, the overall experience is what proved to be the big takeaway for many players.
"I definitely think I've come back as a better player, obviously, if it's on the ice, if it's off the ice, whatever it is, I think I've learned a lot," said Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl. "It was a very exciting tournament."
As exciting as it was to play in the tournament, Draisaitl found himself with a new opportunity, playing alongside a player he's looked up to for a lot of his hockey career: Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar.
"Kopitar is one of the guys I look up to and I kind of try to model my game after, it was great to be around him, see him on the ice, off the ice, little things that he does," said Draisaitl. "It was, again, a very valuable experience."