Perhaps the most exciting news when the 2016 World Cup of Hockey tournament was announced was that there would be a Team North America made up of players under 24 years of age. Today, the team's General Manager, Peter Chiarelli, revealed the first 16 players who would be part of the final roster when the event begins in September, 2016.
The preliminary roster includes three goaltenders, four defencemen, and nine forwards.
|John Gibson||Connor Hellebuyck||Matt Murray|
|Aaron Ekblad||Seth Jones|
|Ryan Murray||Morgan Rielly|
|Sean Couturier||Jack Eichel||Johnny Gaudreau|
|Dylan Larkin||Nathan MacKinnon||Connor McDavid|
|J.T. Miller||Sean Monahan||Brandon Saad|
The defence looks very strong for the young team, considering the age cutoff, and how long the average defender takes to develop into an NHL-ready asset. Ekblad, Jones, and Rielly are some of the top blue-liners on their NHL clubs, and will put up resistance to some of the more experience offences they will face.
The most obvious omission for Montreal Canadiens fans is Alex Galchenyuk. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Flyers rookie standout Shayne Gostisbehere are other notable players missing from today's roster announcement.
There are still seven players to be named, so it's quite possible he will be one of the additions announced before the tournament begins.