Finns announce preliminary roster for World Cup led by Rask, Koivu

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Finland joined Russia in announcing its 16-man initial roster for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey on Wednesday, a roster heavily influenced by the team that captured bronze at the ’14 Olympics in Sochi.

Boston goalie Tuukka Rask and Wild captain Mikko Koivu headline the list, along with a pair of participants at this year’s All-Star Game in Nashville — Preds goalie Pekka Rinne, and Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov.

The roster, in full:

G Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
G Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

D Esa Lindell, Texas Stars (AHL) – Dallas Stars hold NHL rights
D Olli Maatta, Pittsburgh Penguins
D Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo Sabres
D Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks

F Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers
F Joonas Donskoi, San Jose Sharks
F Valtteri Filppula, Tampa Bay Lightning
F Mikael Granlund, Minnesota Wild
F Jussi Jokinen, Florida Panthers
F Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild
F Leo Komarov, Toronto Maple Leafs
F Lauri Korpikoski, Edmonton Oilers
F Jori Lehtera, St. Louis Blues
F Teuvo Teravainen, Chicago Blackhawks

Among the notable “snubs” for Finland? Minnesota’s Erik Haula, who sits 10th among all Finnish forwards this year with 23 points, was left off. So too was Detroit’s Teemu Pulkkinen, Vancouver’s Markus Granlund (Mikael’s brother), Winnipeg’s Joel Armia, Boston’s Joonas Kemppainen and Nashville’s Miikka Salomaki.

On defense, it’s worth pointing out that one Dallas prospect, Lindell, made it over one of the club’s recently departed — Jyrki Jokipakka, who was traded to Calgary on Monday in the Kris Russell deal.

It’s also worth noting two of the country’s brightest young prospects failed to make it: Kasperi Kapanen, who recently made his NHL debut with Toronto, and Mikko Rantanen, the promising Colorado forward taken 10th overall in ’15.

Rantanen currently sits fifth in the AHL in scoring, with 48 points through 39 games.

Finally, in goal, it’ll be interesting to see who claims the No. 3 spot behind Rask and Rinne. Right now, the leading candidates would have to be Dallas’ Antti Niemi (or, Kari Lehtonen), Columbus’ Joonas Korpisalo or the Rangers’ Antti Raanta.