Anze Kopitar Named to Team Europe for World Cup of Hockey
The Slovenian superstar was probably the first name picked, right?
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
|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.
Team Europe announces initial roster for the World Cup of Hockey 2016. #WCH2016 https://t.co/mZIuObLOtI pic.twitter.com/tWBOz7kWJ7— NHL (@NHL) March 2, 2016
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.)