by Vinny Zammiello
For the first time since 2004, The World Cup of Hockey is back and will pick up right where it left off as the world’s best compete for their country or continent.
The tournament’s eight team field consists of Team USA, Canada, North America, Sweden, Europe, Finland, Czech Republic, and Russia. The Championship will be decided with a best of three series. The talent of each team should lead to a competitive tournament. Here are a few pre-tournament favorites.
Known for their speed, The United States’ roster has a lethal combination of skill, speed and size. The USA forward lineup features some of the NHL’s biggest stars such as Patrick Kane, Joe Pavelski, Derek Stepan, and Zach Parise. The USA also added some physicality into their lineup by including David Backes, Justin Abdelkader, and T.J. Oshie.
The defense is led by Ryan Suter, John Carlson, and Ryan McDonagh, forming a solid defensive core. Last but not least, the US bares possibly the most talented goalie trio in the entire tournament. Led by starter Jonathan Quick, Ben Bishop and Cory Schneider are more than capable back ups. Coach John Tortorella’s gameplan is to use speed to their advantage and wear down the opposing team with intense forechecking.
As expected, Team Canada is considered most likely to win the tournament because it has the deepest roster filled with the world’s upper echelon of hockey players. The star-studded roster includes offensive talents such as Sidney Crosby, Brad Marchand, John Tavares, Steven Stamkos, Claude Giroux, and Tyler Seguin.
The talent continues on defense as the blue line will be accompanied by Shea Weber, Brent Burns, Drew Doughty, and Alex Pietrangelo. Team Canada’s defense also consists of three talented goalies including Carey Price, Braden Holtby, Corey Crawford. Canada will prove why they are so heavily favored by playing with world class speed and skill.
Team North America:
A new team recently added will showcase the most elite talent from Canada and the United States under 23 years old. This team is filled with the most recent first overall draft picks such as Connor McDavid, Austin Mathews, Ryan Nugent Hopkins, Nathan McKinnon, and Aaron Ekblad. It is also loaded with the league’s best offensive defensmen in Seth Jones, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Ryan Murray. Team North America will be the fastest and most skilled team in the tournament and will put up big numbers on even the best goalies.
North Attleboro senior and hockey fan Zach McGowan shared his thoughts on the tournament. “I think Team North America’s speed and skill will ultimately make them the winners over Team Canada in the finals. It should be very entertaining and I’m very excited to watch it.”
Even students who aren’t interested in the tournament, such as NAHS senior Jack Dakin admitted, “It [the tournament] will have the intensity of playoff hockey which I love to watch. It should be really exciting.”
The World Cup Tournament will start on September 17th and runs until September 30th. The tournament will be a great segway back into hockey season, which is right around the corner.