The Vancouver Canucks will be well represented at the IIHF World Championship in Slovakia this year.
While rosters have not yet been finalized, a total of five Canucks have confirmed they will represent their respective countries at the 16-team tournament that begins on May 10.
Team USA named 17 players to its team on Thursday, including goaltender Thatcher Demko and defenceman Quinn Hughes.
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) April 18, 2019
Demko, 23, is expected to back up former Canucks goalie Cory Schneider for the Americans. This is the second time Demko has represented his country at the World Championship, though he didn’t appear in a game as the third goalie for USA in 2016.
Hughes, 19, will be making his second consecutive appearance at this tournament, after playing in last year’s Worlds before he was drafted. Jack Hughes, Quinn’s brother and the top prospect heading into the draft in June, was not among the preliminary list of 10 forwards named to the team.
Team Sweden, as is tradition, will be loaded with Canucks.
Elias Pettersson confirmed his attendance with Swedish media this week. Like Hughes, Pettersson played at this tournament last year before ever appearing in an NHL game. He’ll join Jacob Markstrom–the expected starter–who told reporters in Vancouver earlier this month that he would play. Loui Eriksson completes the trio of Canucks who will suit up for Sweden, as confirmed by SVT.
A number of Canucks players declined their invitation to this year’s tournament, including Bo Horvat, who represented Canada last year, because he’s getting married. Chris Tanev, who won gold for Canada in 2016, was invited this year but won’t play due to an injury.
Travis Green was asked to join Team Canada head coach Alain Vigneault on his staff, but reportedly said no to spend time with his son.
Brock Boeser declined an invitation to play for USA, choosing instead to focus on offseason training. Sven Baertschi (Switzerland) and Markus Granlund (Finland) have also said no to their respective countries.
Other Canucks likely on their national teams’ radar include Antoine Roussel, Alex Edler, and Troy Stecher.
Given the lack of depth for France, Roussel would be assured an invite if healthy, which unfortunately, he is not. Edler has represented Sweden on numerous occasions, but is still without a contract for next season, making him an unlikely participant.
Stecher has never represented Canada on the world stage at a major tournament. A reliable two-way defenceman, Stecher’s game should translate well on the larger international ice surface. We’ll see if he gets the call from Hockey Canada.