Eight Flyers to Participate in World Cup of Hockey
As we grow closer to September 17, rosters are squared away and we are ready to start the re-birth of the World Cup of Hockey. Throughout the eight various teams, the Philadelphia Flyers will have eight representatives.
The list of these will obviously be headlined by star forwards Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek, both with international hockey experience. Followed by these two stars, forwards Sean Couturier and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare were selected to represent North America and Europe respectively. Defensively Radko Gudas (Czech Republic) and Mark Streit (Europe) are selected to add some depth within their respective teams, as well as goaltender Michal Neuvirth who will be one of three tenders on the Czech roster.
Rounding out the Flyers selected players, and probably the most interesting is offensively defensive weapon Shayne Gostisbehere. Selected to be on the North American team, comprised of all North American players under the age of 24, Gostisbehere is ready to prove his worth on the international scale.
Giroux, is ready to earn his way back into the hearts of Canadian hockey fans after being left off the 2014 Winter Olympics roster in Sochi. Giroux is coming off a lower than usual production year, and I say that as if 67 points isn’t enough, however it is his lowest since he missed half the year in 2012. He is ready and poised to become a weapon for Canada playing besides some of the elite talent in the NHL. His last stint in the international stage was back in 2014 when he represented Canada in the World Championships tallying 10 points (3g, 7a) in 10 games.
Voracek adds depth, experience and the ability to pump goals into the net for the Czech Republic. In the 2014 Winter Olympics in 5 games Voracek produced just 2 points (1g, 1a) and previously in the 2014 World Championships Voracek tallied 10 points (3g, 7a) similar to Giroux’s production.
Streit and Bellemare will both take to the ice wearing the same jersey for Team Europe. Streit has been on the international stage since playing in the World Juniors in 1994, and brings plenty of experience to the blue line. Relatively new NHL forward Bellemare, 31 years old, has played on the international level since 2002 representing France in both the Junior and Senior World Championships. Although not headliner names the two will bring a work horse mentality to the rest of the European roster. The Czech Republic will add depth on the blueline with new defensive tough man Gudas, as well as Neuvirth who will contend for a chance to see some time in the crease.
The most interesting and promising additions of the Flyers roster come in the shape of defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and forward Sean Couturier, who have been added to the North American 23 and under squad. This North American team is the most intriguing by far out of any team within the tournament. Offensive juggernaut Gostisbehere proved during his last campaign, almost winning the Calder for rookie of the year, that he can be a force both on the offensive side of the puck as well as the defensive side of the puck. He brings the North Americans a very skilled and poised puck moving defenseman who will be another deadly threat on special teams, most likely headlining the blue line on the power play.
An American carbon copy of Erik Karlsson, Gostisbehere brings the presence of a defensive veteran in a 23 year old’s body. Ying meets yang in this Flyers duo joining up for North America as Sean Couturier brings the squad an entirely different body of work. Couturier will bring a grinding, hard working mentality to a squad filled with quite a lot of “skill” guys in McDavid, Gaudreau and others. The 6’3” 196lb forward is coming off a 39 point (11g, 28a) season in Philly and will hopefully be a nice addition to a line that needs a big body willing to grind in the corners. Looking forward to the line combinations, Couturier might undoubtedly find himself in a position to put up great numbers on the international stage for the North Americans.
As we are all excited to see the eight Flyers representing their various squads, we are equally excited to see how these players have developed during the off season as well as how they will represent themselves in this tournament, looking forward to the 2016-17 campaign.
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