Jake Muzzin, Tyler Toffoli Garnering Consideration for World Cup of Hockey
Look who's getting notice from the higher-ups at Team Canada!
It ain't the Olympics, but it looks like two of the Kings' up-and-comers are garnering interest from Team Canada.
So far in his career, Jake Muzzin has flown largely in the shadow of Drew Doughty, while Tyler Toffoli has been seen as a future star who wasn't quite ready to usurp the proven scorers on Team Canada (including last-man-on-the-roster Jeff Carter). However, according to St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong, both players are going to be in consideration for the Canadian roster for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. (Armstrong is the head of Canada's management group for the inaugural World Cup.)
Doug Armstrong names Gallagher, Muzzin, Stone and Toffoli as players jumping into Team Canada's radar.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) November 10, 2015
Recall that the World Cup will consist of eight teams (Canada, USA, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Team Europe AKA "The Kopitar All-Stars", and Team North America AKA "The Young Guns") competing in a tournament in September 2016. LA should send at least five of the six Olympians currently on their roster to this tournament, but it may not stop there.
The mention of Muzzin is especially interesting. Team Canada has been absolutely loaded on defense the last few years, to the point where Norris Trophy winner PK Subban couldn't even get on the ice at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Doughty, Keith, Pietrangelo, Subban, and Weber likely aren't going anywhere, and Muzzin wouldn't the only Canadian defenseman trying to crash the party, but even having his name floated is noteworthy. Would they take him over, say, Dan Hamhuis? I could see it.
As for Toffoli, there's no question that his hot start (9 goals, 13 points in 14 games) has opened eyes around the league. Toffoli's always been a talented player, but he's proven to be absolutely lethal on Jeff Carter's wing; if Armstrong takes that into account as Steve Yzerman and Co. did with Chris Kunitz/Sidney Crosby in 2014, Toffoli's chances go up. If he can maintain his production and put up 30-35 goals this season, his chances go WAY up; the forward group is strong, but it's not impenetrable.
On the radar doesn't mean on the team -- recall that Trevor Lewis was on Team USA's radar -- but it's encouraging for both players as they look to make the leap to the international stage.