Jack Eichel and Jimmy Vesey are hoping to join Team USA at next month’s World Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic.
Eichel is of course expected to be one of the top two picks at June’s NHL Draft. The 2015 Hobey Baker winner led Boston University to the final of the frozen four where they fell 4-3 to Providence on Saturday.
Vesey, a third-round pick of the Nashville Predators (66th overall in 2012), just completed his third year at Harvard.
Meanwhile, TSN’s Ryan Rishaug reports Tyler Ennis and Cody Eakin are both headed overseas to represent Canada at the tournament.
Ennis has represented Canada internationally at the Under-20 tournament while it’ll be Eakin’s first time playing for Team Canada.
Rishaug also reports Ryan Johansen, Logan Couture and Jamie Benn have declined invites from Hockey Canada.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Wojtek Wolsk, who now plays for Torpedo Nizhny Novgoro in the KHL, showed off his soft hands during the shooutout in a recent game against HC Dynamo Moscow.
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $20,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s NHL games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts Monday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
NHL Winter Classic: Setting up rinks a shared passion for father and son (The Washington Post)
Kings’ defenseman Alec Martinez admits contract talks are in the back of his mind (L.A. Kings Insider)
Did the Devils contact Adam Oates without permission? NHL and Capitals consider case closed (The Bergen Record)
Sharks’ Nieto set for return after missing 9 games (CSN Bay Area)
Travis Green and Mike Stothers named coaches for AHL All-Star Classic (The AHL)
Curtis Lazar and Connor McDavid: Junior hockey’s odd couple (Toronto Star)
What can the NHL do to get more fans? (The Hockey News)
Canadian gold-medal Olympic men’s hockey team named CP Team of the Year (The Canadian Press)
Colorado Avalanche prospect Chris Bigras was one of five players sent home from Team Canada’s World Junior selection camp Sunday.
Bigras was a member of the 2014 Canadian squad, which lost to Russia in the bronze medal game in January.
Defenseman Travis Sanheim, a Philadelphia Flyers’ prospect, was returned to the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League.
Forwards Remi Elie (Dallas Stars), Morgan Klimchuk (Calgary Flames) and Nick Baptiste (Buffalo Sabres) were also returned to their respective junior clubs.
Ottawa’s Curtis Lazar and Vancouver’s Bo Horvat are among those currently on NHL rosters who could possibly be added to the team, but a decision on their future must be made prior to the NHL’s roster freeze Dec. 19.
“It’s day-by-day. I haven’t heard anything, actually,” Horvat told ProHockeyTalk’s Cam Tucker. “Just trying to get better here and focus on trying to win here. If I keep doing that, eventually I’m sure they’re going to tell me what’s going on but for right now I’m just trying to focus on the Canucks.”
Team Canada’s roster currently consists of eight defencemen and 15 forwards and two goaltenders. The final roster, which needs to be finalized by Dec. 25, must be down to 22 players.
Top prospect Connor McDavid is expected to miss 5-6 weeks with a fracture of the 5th Metacarpal bone on his right hand according to the Erie Otters.
He will not require surgery.
The injury occured Tuesday night during a fight against Mississauga Steelheads center Bryson Cianfrone. McDavid failed to hit Cianfrone with a punch, instead connecting with the glass. The Otters’ captain received a major for fighting and a game misconduct for taking off Cianfrone’s helmet.
It was McDavid’s second career fight and second of this season.
McDavid has 16 goals and 51 points in 18 Ontario Hockey League games this season.
He was a lock to star on Canada’s entry at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship, which begin in just over six weeks. Team Canada begins its’ pre-tournament training camp Dec. 11 in Toronto. Given the 5-6 week time frame McDavid could theoretically be ready for the tournament barring a setback.
McDavid is projected to be one of the first two selections at next June’s NHL Draft.
Outspoken hockey analyst Don Cherry was at it again over the weekend, this time voicing his displeasures at Hockey Canada.
Cherry believes Florida Panthers first overall pick, Aaron Ekblad, should not have been participating in exhibition scrimmages at Canada’s development camp.
Ekblad was concussed during Canada’s 6-2 win over the Czech Repulic on Aug. 5 and sent home early from the camp after consultation with the Panthers.
On Saturday, Cherry, 80, took to Twitter to voice his opinion:
It’s often hard to agree with much of what Cherry says these days; however, this time he’s hit the nail on the head. Ekblad, who should make the Panthers roster out of training camp, doesn’t even need to be at such a camp as he likely won’t be released by Florida for the December tournament.
Related: Get to know a draft pick – Aaron Ekblad