The World Cup of Hockey officially begins on September 17, and four Edmonton Oilers players will be participating in the tournament in the coming week.
As a way to prepare, we’ve decided to look at each player, profiling, previewing and predicting their performance on their respective teams.
The World Cup of Hockey seems much closer now that each team has had their first practice. Team North America is made up of players under the age of 23, and is very much an underdog in this tournament. The talent they have may surprise some of the other teams if they take the youngsters lightly.
The main catalyst for Team NA will be centre Connor McDavid, who is not only the top-ranked player on the team but has a lot of expectations to carry on his shoulders.
Team North America showed their preliminary lines today, and Connor McDavid was centering Tampa Bay’s Jonathan Drouin and Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele. This line has the makings of a fast, creative nightmare for the opposition.
Having a playmaker like Drouin on his wing will help McDavid utilize his speed as Connor can create give-and-go up the boards. Scheifele adds a solid shooting threat for McDavid to feed passes, and Scheifele also possesses great speed to keep close to McDavid as the play moves up the ice.
The duo trained together in the offseason, to which Scheifele mentioned that the 19-year-old centre is a faster skater this year than last year. That’s a scary thought for defensemen, as McDavid’s speed would make them appear to be standing still.
Also, other reports, as well as photos, appear to show that the 6-foot-1, 190-pound lot of muscle mass for this upcoming season. If he is indeed stronger and faster than last year that just heightens some of my predictions for him.
I don’t see Team North America making it out of the group stage, as there are too many questions about the goaltending and the team’s depth. But McDavid should be the bright spot for this team. In the end, I see him averaging a point and half per game in this short tournament, finishing with six points (two goals, four assists) in four tourney games.