A pair of Canucks defencemen will play for Team Canada at the World Hockey Championship next month.
Chris Tanev and Ben Hutton confirmed at the Canucks’ season-ending media conference today that they will both wear the maple leaf at the Worlds. The 17-day tournament will take place May 6-22 in Russia.
Tanev was the Canucks’ most consistent defenceman this season. The steady, defensive-minded, puck-moving defenceman averaged 21:45 of ice time per night, ranking him second among Canucks defencemen.
“I’ve never done it before” Tanev said, a late bloomer speaking about his first experience playing for Team Canada. “It’s obviously an honour to represent your country and I’m very excited about it.”
Ben Hutton had an outstanding rookie season with the Canucks.
“I think I exceeded my own expectations this year” Hutton said. “Coming in, I didn’t know what to expect. I just wanted to come to camp and show everyone what I had and make a good impression.”
Penciled in to start the season in Utica, Hutton impressed everyone in training camp and earned a spot with the big club.
The 22-year-old smooth skating defenceman led all Canucks blueliners in points with 25, while averaging close to 20 minutes of ice time per night. He became the first rookie since Mattias Ohlund in 1998 to be named the team’s top defenceman, winning the Babe Pratt Trophy at the Canucks season finale on Saturday.
Also suiting up for their country at the Worlds will be Jacob Markstrom, who will play for Sweden, Yannick Weber, who will play for Switzerland, and Jannik Hansen, who will play for Denmark.
Markstrom has also been named to Team Sweden for the World Cup in September, where he’s expected to back-up Henrik Lundqvist.