By Ashley Scoby
Seven Red Wings, representing five different countries (or regions) have been named to rosters for the World Cup of Hockey, which will be played in the fall.
Dylan Larkin will be on the North American team, Justin Abdelkader will represent the U.S., Pavel Datsyuk will represent Russia, Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall are on Team Sweden; Petr Mrazek is with the Czech Republic team, and Tomas Tatar will join Team Europe.
Former Red Wing Nicklas Lidstrom has also been acting in an advisory capacity for Team Sweden, and was involved with choosing the roster.
Although he’s still only 19, Larkin will be participating in his second international competition in as many years. He was part of the U.S. team that won bronze at the 2015 World Championship, which was hosted by the Czech Republic. In 10 games, Larkin recorded an assist.
“That was a good tournament for myself,” Larkin told reporters, according to the Detroit Free Press. “It was my first time playing against professional players and learning that I wanted to be a pro and move on from college.”
Even before that, Larkin also participated in the 2013 World U-17 Hockey Challenge (he was the third-leading scorer on that team), the 2014 IIHF World U-18 Championships, and the 2015 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships (he had five goals in five games then).
Eight total teams will compete in the World Cup – USA, Europe, Czech Republic, Canada (all in Group A), Finland, Russia, Sweden and North America (all in Group B). The group stage will feature a round-robin format, then two semifinals will determine who goes to the best-of-three championship series.
Games will start Sept. 17, and should the final series go to a third game, that would be held Oct. 1. All competition will be at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
“I expect it’s going to be great tournament,” Mrazek told reporters, according to the Free Press. “Best players in the world are going to be there. You are going to play for a trophy, so it’s going to be full speed and good games.”
Each roster released on Wednesday included 16 players, and more can be added later.