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Anze Kopitar Named to Team Europe for World Cup of Hockey

The Slovenian superstar was probably the first name picked, right?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Over the course of the day, preliminary rosters for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey are being announced. And in the day's biggest shock... Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings will indeed play for Team Europe. Here's the full list of the 16 players so far:

Team Europe - Preliminary Roster

Position Player NHL Team Country
G Frederik Andersen Anaheim Ducks Denmark
G Jaroslav Halak New York Islanders Slovakia
D Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins Slovakia
D Roman Josi Nashville Predators Switzerland
D Dennis Seidenberg Boston Bruins Germany
D Andrej Sekera Edmonton Oilers Slovakia
D Mark Streit Philadelphia Flyers Switzerland
F Mikkel Boedker Colorado Avalanche Denmark
F Leon Draisaitl Edmonton Oilers Germany
F Jannik Hansen Vancouver Canucks Denmark
F Marian Hossa Chicago Blackhawks Slovakia
F Anze Kopitar Los Angeles Kings Slovenia
F Frans Nielsen New York Islanders Denmark
F Tomas Tatar Detroit Red Wings Slovakia
F Thomas Vanek Minnesota Wild Austria
F Mats Zuccarello New York Rangers Norway

In addition to our favorite country, the current preliminary roster for Team Europe contains players from Denmark, Slovakia, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Norway. The logo for Team Europe has also been revealed, and bears an unfortunate resemblance to the logo of the Canucks.

Kopitar is probably definitely the best player on this team, and he exemplifies the spirit of this combined team more than anyone else on the squad. He would make any roster in the tournament but hasn't gotten to show his stuff at an elite international level often enough because he was born in tiny Slovenia. (The one time he did, of course, Slovenia stunned the world by finishing seventh at the 2014 Winter Olympics.) All in all, it's awesome for him to feature for an international team packed with other NHL players.

(A footnote: no Marian Gaborik as of yet. In all likelihood, the Slovak will make this team, but the management may have held off on including him because he's still recovering from injury.)