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Photo Credit: NHL.com

Five Canucks confirmed for 2019 IIHF World Championships

The Canucks will be well represented at the upcoming 2019 IIHF World Championships.

The tournament takes place in Bratislava & Kosice, Slovakia from May 10-26 and consists of 16 teams; two groups of eight.

Group A consists of Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, United States, and host country Slovakia. Group B consists of Sweden, Russia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Norway, Latvia, Austria and Italy.

Five Canucks have been confirmed for this year’s tournament. You can catch all the games on TSN.

USA

Blueliner Quinn Hughes and goaltender Thatcher Demko have been named to Team USA’s roster for the tournament. The star-studded roster is highlighted by elite forwards Jack Eichel and Patrick Kane.

Hughes heads to Slovakia after dazzling in his debut with the Canucks this season. The 19-year-old will gain some valuable experience representing his country internationally after impressing with three assists in five games during his first NHL stint.

Demko, meanwhile, recently signed a two-year contract extension with the Canucks after making eight starts for the team this season. He’ll be competing with Devils’ goaltender Cory Schneider for starts. Given Schneider’s struggles this season, it’s possible Demko runs away with the starting gig in Slovakia. The 23-year-old posted a respectable .913 save percentage with Vancouver this season and will likely serve as the full-time backup to Jacob Markstrom in 2019-20.

Here is Team USA’s preliminary schedule for the tournament:

Friday, May 10: USA vs. Slovakia, 11:00 AM PST

Sunday, May 12: USA vs. France, 3:00 AM PST

Monday, May 13: USA vs. Finland, 7:00 AM PST

Wednesday, May 15: USA vs. Great Britain, 7:00 AM PST

Saturday, May 18: Denmark vs. USA, 3:00 AM PST

Sunday, May 19: Germany vs. USA, 7:00 AM PST

Tuesday, May 21: Canada vs. USA, 11:00 AM PST

Sweden

Rookie phenom Elias Pettersson, netminder Jacob Markstrom and veteran Loui Eriksson will be playing for Team Sweden at the tournament.

Pettersson is coming off a sensational rookie campaign in which he led the Canucks with 66 points (28 goals) in 71 games. He’s been great internationally for Sweden in the past and will look to continue that success into Slovakia. Pettersson recently had five goals and seven points in seven games for his country at the 2018 World Juniors.

Markstrom evolved into a reliable starting netminder for the Canucks this season, starting a whopping 60 games. While he’s likely in need of some rest, the workhorse goaltender likely won’t face too much action in Slovakia given that veteran netminder Henrik Lundqvist is also heading to the tournament. Lundqvist won gold in 2017 and will be looking to lead his country to another gold medal this time around.

Eriksson is overpaid, but he managed to a decent contributor for the Canucks this season, managing 11 goals and 29 points in a full season. There’s been plenty of talk about the 33-year-old and his future in Vancouver, but he should be a solid veteran presence for his country in Slovakia. Sweden appears to have a good mix of young players such as Pettersson and experienced players such as Lundqvist and Eriksson on their roster.

Here is Team Sweden’s preliminary schedule for the tournament:

Friday, May 10: Czech Republic vs. Sweden, 11:00 AM PST

Sunday, May 12: Italy vs. Sweden, 7:00 AM PST

Monday, May 13: Norway vs. Sweden, 11:00 AM PST

Thursday, May 16: Sweden vs. Austria, 7:00 AM PST

Saturday, May 18: Sweden vs. Switzerland, 11:00 AM PST

Monday, May 20: Sweden  vs. Latvia, 11:00 AM PST

Tuesday, May 21: Sweden vs. Russia, 11:00 AM PST

Canada

Update* Defenseman Troy Stecher has been invited to play for Team Canada and has accepted his invitation. The 25-year-old from Richmond, BC had his best NHL season to date, posting 23 points and a plus-9 rating in 78 games. He’s become a reliable fixture on the Canucks’ blueline and plays a key role on special teams. Canada’s roster for the tournament is slowly starting to take shape. Stecher will gain some valuable experience playing with talented players such as Mark Stone and John Tavares up front. Goaltenders Matt Murray and Carter Hart also provide the team with some stability in net.

Here is Team Canada’s preliminary schedule:

Friday, May 10: Finland vs. Canada, 7:00 AM PST

Sunday, May 12: Great Britain vs. Canada, 11:00 AM PST

Monday, May 13: Slovakia vs. Canada, 11:00 AM PST

Thursday, May 16: Canada vs. France, 7:00 AM PST

Saturday, May 18: Canada vs. Germany, 7:00 AM PST

Monday, May 20: Canada vs. Denmark, 11:00 AM PST

Tuesday, May 21: Canada vs. USA, 11:00 AM PST

Brock Boeser declined his invitation to play for Team USA because he wants to get in a full summer of training. Bo Horvat won’t be playing for Team Canada because he’s getting married. Chris Tanev declined to go for Canada due to injury. Sven Baertschi, meanwhile, declined his invitation to play for Team Switzerland.

  • Kootenaydude

    I’m a Canucks fan. That being said. Team Canada’s roster should have been listed as well. Individual players may come and go from NHL hockey teams, but when you represent Canada. You’re on our team!!

  • bushdog

    hey, kootenaydude – since there are no canucks on team canada, this little blurb delivers what the headline says. the canuck players and the country they will play for. you can start another chat if you want to talk about something else

    • Kootenaydude

      Bushdog 95% of Canuck fans are Canadians. There’s also a good chance that at least one of team Canada’s players could be signed to Vancouver this summer. I can guarantee you there will be more Canuck fans cheering for Team Canada than Team USA or Team Sweden!!

  • rediiis

    I really do not like being excluded from hockey by not being in Canada or rooting for an original six team. I’ve been a Canuck fan for 50. Geez I’m old. I don’t wave flags, I do appreciate good hockey.

    • canuckfan

      Not sure who you are referring to but the tournament is in Slovakia and no where did I see him playing foir any other country than Sweden but will be playing for them in Slovakia.

    • KCasey

      First of all, who the living hell cares about minor typos on a friggin blog. This isn’t the wall Street journal bruv. Just a blog. Second of all….its actually a bad look on you when you fully understand what the writer meant anyways, and than you take that one minor gaff as an opportunity to display your snobbish requirements of Pulitzer prize winning work….on blog. Third of all….read his work instead of glazing it over before you hit enter.

  • canuckfan

    It will be fun to watch Quinn and Pettersson on the big ice surface. Hope Demko gets the number 1 spot on USA team and just kills the tournament that would definitely cause some calls from other teams and perhaps we could get another first round pick for him and pick the American kid who is expected to go in the first round.

    • canuckfan

      I know there are a lot of American players that will be going in the first round I should have clarified I meant the young American goalie who is expected to be the first goalie drafted as high as the first round.

  • Charlie Allnut

    Koot dude and Bush dog you can now drop the cudgels, because Troy Stetcher is now on Team Canada. Gotta cheer for this warrior who likes to just give er.