Skip to main content

World Cup of Hockey Previews: North America

Yes, they're gimmicky.

I'm talking about North America's under 23 squad and the European leftovers team. But you got to admit, the young guns team not only has a chance to be the most exciting team in the tournament, but they have a chance to win it all, too.

Maybe I would not be saying that if Connor McDavid was not involved. I really believe he has what it takes to be the best player since Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux's days. Both he and defenseman Aaron Ekblad could be on Team Canada's roster right now.

McDavid aside, the team is full of speed and talent. Johnny Gaudreau, Dylan Larkin, Nathan MacKinnon, Mark Scheifele, Jack Eichel and Auston Matthews, to name but a few. These guys will all be headlining Team Canada or Team USA in the next World Cup.

The defense, headlined by Ekblad, Seth Jones, Jacob Trouba and Shayne Gotisbehere, is blessed with size and incredible mobility. They only lack experience.

Goaltending was thought to be this team's weakness. Then Matt Murray, who many had never heard of prior to last April, led the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup championship.

Yes, they are kids. They have an average NHL experience level of just 154 games played. But this is a young man's game now. And these kids will be highly motivated.

The rest of the world better be ready, especially if McDavid proves to be the difference maker he is capable of. Perhaps he will be anointed his inevitable title the world's best hockey player before the NHL season even begins.


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M