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.
The Columbus Blue Jackets conclude their season Saturday night when they visit the New York Islanders. However, Jackets’ head coach Todd Richards may have a little more coaching to do before enjoying the offseason.
According to Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch, Richards is expected to be named Team USA’s head coach for the World Hockey Championships.
Richards is no stranger to the international game. The 48-year-old Minnesota native served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. He was also an assistant coach of the U.S. team at the 2010 World Championship in Germany.
On Wednesday Hockey Canada announced its management staff for the tournament, which begins May 1.
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.
Patrik Berglund’s Swedish eyes are smiling after scoring six goals in the past eight games, including two against Nashville on Saturday. (The Post-Dispatch)
Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,200 Fantasy Hockey league for Monday’s late NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $275. Starts Monday at 7:30pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
With all the injuries the Detroit Red Wings have, they need Jimmy Howard to be their savior. (Detroit Free Press)
That Nail Yakupov is such a bad teammate, you guys. He’s so bad that coach Dallas Eakins loved seeing him come to help out Matt Hendricks when dealing with some Hurricanes in a scuffle. This sarcasm doing anything for you? (Edmonton Journal)
The Tampa Bay Lightning will be erecting a statue for former captain Dave Andreychuk. Winning a Stanley Cup gets you some pretty great perks. (Tampa Tribune)
Give it up to Team Canada women’s team goalie Shannon Szabados who made her ECHL debut. Awesome stuff. (NHL.com)
Big time kudos to the United States Paralympic hockey team that took gold at the Paralympics in Sochi. (USA Hockey)
Finally, check out the video tribute the Buffalo Sabres played for Thomas Vanek who played in his first game in Buffalo since being traded back in late October. Vanek said after the game: “My previous experience when someone else came back, they didn’t do much so I didn’t know what to expect, but I thought it was very nice and very classy of them.” Take that, Darcy Regier.
With just two days until the gold medal game between Canada and Sweden and only hours until the bronze medal game, that doesn’t leave much time for wondering what the odds are in each game.
Online oddsmaker Bovada.lv has come through and, for entertainment’s sake, they’ve got the North American teams looking good to win against their Scandinavian opponents.
Bovada lists Canada as a 2/1 favorite to win gold against Sweden. The odds on the Swedes winning are a bit longer at 33/20.
Both teams head into the game on Sunday (7 a.m. ET Sunday on NBC) undefeated and both teams are coming off one-goal wins against rivals. Team Canada defeated Team USA 1-0 while Sweden beat Finland 2-1.
In the bronze medal game, Bovada lists Team USA as a 19/10 favorite, virtually 2/1, to beat Finland. The Finns, meanwhile, are 8/5 to beat the United States. Those two face off Saturday (10 a.m. ET on NBCSN) for the third-place hardware.
If betting on a team isn’t your thing, the over/under on number of total goals scored in each games is 4.5. With how goaltending has been all tournament, good luck betting the over.
Team Canada goalie Carey Price more than did his job against Team USA stopping 31 shots in a 1-0 shutout victory.
While there was debate heading into the Olympics whether it would be Price or Roberto Luongo to start in goal, Price has proven to be the man.
As Canada coach Mike Babcock told Olympic News Service, Price’s work is what carries the team.
“He was great. Hockey’s just like everything else, you build a resume over time and it gives you confidence,” Babcock said. “He’s big and square and soft and he gives the team confidence. It’s not like there wasn’t chances tonight, there were chances both ways, but the goalies were just so good it was hard to get any pucks past them.”
Price’s efforts in the Olympics have Canada in position to win a second straight gold medal in men’s hockey. While it was Luongo who took care of business in 2010, Price’s work has been outstanding in Sochi and has them feeling good about taking gold again.
With how well Price has played, it’s hard to imagine there was even a debate in the first place, but that’s what having a wealth of talent on the roster will do.