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Faksa, Hemsky to play for Czech Republic at World Cup of Hockey

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars forwards Radek Faksa and Ales Hemsky will play for Czech Republic at the World Cup of Hockey 2016. Faksa and Hemsky were among the final seven players named to the Czech roster Friday morning.

All eight teams in the tournament named the final seven players for their 23-man rosters on Friday after naming an initial 16 players in March.

Faksa and Hemsky began to play on a line together along with Antoine Roussel in March and became one of the Stars’ most effective forward combinations. Hemsky registered 39 points (13 goals, 26 assists) in 75 games this season and tallied four points (one goal, three assists) in 13 playoff games. Faksa, who started the season in the AHL, recorded 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 45 games and registered five points (three goals, two assists) in 13 postseason games.

“[Faksa’s] nomination is largely based on how he played in the second half of the season. There is also a certain bond with Ales Hemsky in Dallas,” Czech Republic coach Josef Jandac told media Friday.

With Faksa and Hemsky being selected for the Czech roster, the Stars have five players scheduled to play at the tournament, which will take place this September in Toronto. Forwards Jamie Benn (Canada) and Tyler Seguin (Canada) and Dallas defense prospect Esa Lindell (Finland) were named to the initial rosters in March.

Among the notable absences from Friday’s roster announcements was Dallas defenseman John Klingberg not making Sweden’s team. Sweden’s assistant coach Peter Popovic told the Associated Press that with the team already having two offensive defensemen in Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson and Arizona’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the Swedes decided to select Nashville’s Mattias Ekholm as the team’s final player on defense.

"Mattias doesn't have maybe Klingberg's way of playing with the puck, but he's a D we can use in all areas," Popovic told the AP.

Along with Karlsson, Ekman-Larsson and Ekholm, the Swedes also have Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay), Anton Stralman (Tampa Bay), Niklas Hjalmarsson (Chicago) and Niklas Kronwall (Detroit) on defense.

Full rosters for all eight teams can be found by clicking here.

World Cup of Hockey 2016

Who: USA, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Czech Republic, Team North America*, Team Europe**

When: September 17-October 1, 2016

Where: Toronto

Format: The eight teams will be divided into two groups of four, and each will compete in three tournament games within their assigned group in a round-robin format. The top two finishers in Group A and Group B will advance to a single-game semifinal, where the first-place team from each group will play an elimination game against the second-place team from the other group. Winners of the semifinal games will advance to a best-of-three final series.

TV coverage: ESPN in the U.S. and Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.

*Team North America will consist of top hockey players from Canada and the United States who are 23 or under as of Oct. 1, 2016.

**Team Europe will be made up of European players from birth countries outside of the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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