For quite some time now it has been reported that the upcoming World Cup would involve six nations (Canada, the United States, Russia, Sweden, Finland, and the Czech Republic) and an all-star team featuring players from the rest of Europe. What wasn’t known was the makeup of the eighth squad beyond it somehow involving North American players, but it will reportedly be a “Young Guns” team, according to TSN’s Rick Westhead and ESPN.
The squad will only include players that are 23 years old or under from Canada and the United States. What’s not clear if that means the primary Canadian/American teams get first dibs on the players in that age range or if the league’s youngest players are only eligible for the second all-star team.
The idea of combining all-star squads with national teams in one tournament is controversial and has left some players skeptical, but IIHF president Rene Fasel recently threw his support behind the idea.
“It would be a great team with non-participating European teams building up a team,” said Fasel. “Then the second one is North American selection. That can be a very interesting for the hockey fans, great.”
It’s believed that the tournament will be held in September 2016 in Toronto. The details of the World Cup are expected to be officially announced on Friday.