With only a dozen games to play on the National Hockey League (NHL) schedule, some Montreal Canadiens players will be looking to extend their season by participating in the World Hockey Championship, which will take place in Finland in May.
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For this list, the applications of veterans in need of rest (Jeff Petry and Brendan Gallagher) and players who could join the Laval Rocket during its spring tournament (Justin Barron, Corey Schueneman and Jesse Ylönen) were ignored. Due to Russia’s exclusion from the World Championship, defender Alexander Romanov has also been dropped from this list.
Carey Price, whose state of health is less predictable than the Quebec weather in April, was not considered for this ranking.
Nick Suzuki – Canada
The 22-year-old pivot will be welcomed with open arms by the maple leaf if he wishes to participate in the tournament organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation. The only player who hasn’t missed a CH game this season, the Ontario forward has carried the Habs’ center line at arm’s length this season.
Jake Allen – Canada
Among the Canadian goalkeepers who will be excluded from the NHL playoffs and who are in good health, it is perhaps only Carter Hart and James Reimer who could be preferred to Allen. The 31-year-old goaltender has already won a silver medal with the Canadian team at the 2010 World Junior Championship. It would be hard to see the “Maple Leaf” depriving itself of a Stanley Cup champion and a veteran who has shown consistency over the past few years.
Joel Edmundson – Canada
Although he’s not the first player that comes to mind when you think of the best guards in the country, Edmundson is a safe bet and a reassuring presence on the Habs’ blue line. Affected by an injury and the death of his father, the 28-year-old defender will play less than 25 games this season. He still has a lot of hockey in him and would add toughness to Canada’s defensive squad.
Christian Dvorak – United States
The 26-year-old center is having a thoroughly disappointing debut campaign in the blue-white-red uniform, but would prove to be a fourth-choice center for the United States. Among American center players unlikely to make it to the Lord Stanley Tournament who have taken part in at least 100 faceoffs this season, only Patrick Brown (58.29%) of the Philadelphia Flyers has been more effective than Dvorak (55.96%).
Cole Caufield – United States
Recognized as one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the country of Uncle Sam at the junior level, Caufield seems hungry since the arrival in office of Martin St-Louis. The 21-year-old sniper is playing the best hockey of his young career, with 29 points in his last 26 games. He would be a formidable weapon for the United States. Remember that Caufield will not be able to take part in the American Hockey League (AHL) playoffs since he was not assigned to the Rocket before the trade deadline.
Jordan Harris – United States
The newcomer to the CH blue line has not yet represented his native country in an international competition. Team USA hasn’t been shy about relying on young players in recent years, but Harris has yet to prove, at least in the long term, that he can compete with men. He may not be at the top of the list of American leaders, but could benefit from the refusal of some veterans.
Joel Armia – Finland
There is only one Finnish forward who will definitely not make the NHL playoffs and who has scored more than 20 points this season: Patrik Laine of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Even though he is having a rocky season, Armia will certainly receive an invitation from the host country. He has already been rain or shine at the junior level with Finland.
The 2022 World Hockey Championship will take place in the cities of Tampere and Helsinki from May 13 to 29.