Players To Watch: World Cup of Hockey 2016
The World Cup of Hockey 2016 in Toronto is almost here! So many great teams, but only one will take it all. Here are our top players to watch!
Team Canada: Jonathan Tavares
This forward player is the one to watch on Team Canada. This past March, Jonathan Tavares was named the Captain of the team for the World Cup. He has been with the New York Islanders since 2009 and has been part of 3 NHL All-Star Games. In both 2010 and 2011, he was part of the Canadian Men’s Team at the IIHF World Championships. Even though he got injured during 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, he helped the Canadian Hockey Team win Gold. You can’t deny he has an impressive hockey career. With the amount he has grown over the years, I wouldn’t be surprised if he led Team Canada to victory.
Team Sweden: Henrik Lundqvist
Henrik Lundqvist of Team Sweden is just one of those players you know is a hockey star. His New York Rangers nickname, “King Henrik”, only seems fitting. Prior to being the goaltender for the NY Rangers, he was the finest goaltender for Frölunda HC. During his time there, he won the prestigious Golden Puck and the Golden Helmet. In 2006, during the Torino Olympics, he took the Swedish Team to Gold! Henrik’s list of achievements is endless. One thing is for sure, with his experience, athleticism and quickness, Henrik is a force to be reckoned with.
Team Russia: Alex Ovechkin
Alex Ovechkin is one player who has made a name for himself both in the NHL playing for the Capitals and internationally. Prior to joining the Capitals, he played for HC Dynamo Moscow. During his first season in the NHL, he was Rookie of the Year with 106 points! In the 2007-2008 Season, he was the top voted player and the league MVP! Not to mention he was also the sixth NHL player in history to have six consecutive 50-goal seasons, joining greats like Wayne Gretzky. Last season, he had the most total goals, game-winning goals and power-play goals in the NHL. Clearly, this is one player you have to watch out for!
Team USA: Joe Pavelski
This San Jose Sharks and possible Team USA World Cup Captain has a pretty impressive hockey career. He made his debut in the NHL 2006-2007 Season with the Sharks. In 2010, he was dubbed the nickname “The Big Pavelski” after having three straight multigoal games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The last person to accomplish this was Mario Lemieux back in 1992. He competed in both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics and won the Silver in 2010. This past NHL Season, he was named to the Pacific Division All-Star Team. Pavelski definitely has the skills to help Team USA, like his exceptional hand-eye-foot coordination, timing and the courage to do what is necessary.
Team Europe: Anze Kopitar
This Los Angeles Kings Captain has clearly demonstrated he is a leader in the NHL. He debuted in 2006 and has been the Team’s MVP five times! He has also been the King’s Leading Scorer since 2008! That’s pretty impressive! In 2011, the King’s won Stanley Cup making Kopitar the first Slovenian to win the Cup. What makes Kopitar a strong player is his ability to skate smoothly and effortlessly at high speeds.
These are just some of the many great players to watch. Make sure to tune into the World Cup starting on September 17th!