How many CH players at the NHL international tournament?

Montreal will be one of the host cities, in February 2025, of a tournament organized by the National League. The best players on the circuit from Canada, the United States, Sweden and Finland will compete for a week and a half. What will the training look like? Here are my projections. Note that it is possible, even probable, that there will be no Quebecers or Canadian players. Explanations.




Canada

Attackers

Zach Hyman – Connor McDavid – Mitchell Marner

Sam Reinhart – Nathan MacKinnon – Brayden Point

Steven Stamkos – Sidney Crosby – Connor Bedard

Brad Marchand – Robert Thomas – Mark Stone

Defenders

Devon Toews – Cale Makar

Josh Morrissey – Noah Dobson

Morgan Rielly – Evan Bouchard

Guardians

Adin Hill, Stuart Skinner

Substitutes

Carter Verhaeghe, Drew Doughty, Samuel Montembeault

The best defense is offense – and Canada is brimming with offensive talent. The center line is extraordinary. On the wings, we find as many snipers as elite passers and players with character. You can also have fun with combinations. My colleague Guillaume Lefrançois suggests bringing together three Nova Scotians who train together in the summer: Sidney Crosby, Nathan MacKinnon and Brad Marchand. I wouldn’t want to be the opponent.

PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

Nick Suzuki and Michael Matheson

Is there a place for Nick Suzuki? If there are any injuries, maybe. He’s in the chase pack, along with Mathew Barzal, Carter Verhaeghe, Ryan O’Reilly and Mark Scheifele. We can add Jonathan Marchessault to this group. On defense, Michael Matheson is one of the most productive Canadians. However, with all this strike force up front, it is likely that we will prefer backs with a more defensive profile. Thomas Chabot, who has a successful track record on the international scene, will be part of the conversation.

The best chance to see a Canadian player or a Quebecer is probably Samuel Montembeault. Canada does not have an established number one. The position will go to the best goalkeeper next season. Adin Hill, brilliant since last spring’s playoffs, leaves with a head start. I like Montembeault’s chances as a number two or backup.

UNITED STATES

Attackers

Jack Hughes – Auston Matthews – Matthew Tkachuk

Jason Robertson – Jack Eichel – Clayton Keller

Jake Guentzel – JT Miller – Brock Boeser

Brady Tkachuk – Dylan Larkin – Vincent Trocheck

Defenders

Quinn Hughes – Adam Fox

Jaccob Slavin – Charlie McAvoy

Luke Hughes–Brock Faber

Guardians

Connor Hellebuyck, Jeremy Swayman

Substitutes

Alex DeBrincat, Zach Werenski, Thatcher Demko

PHOTO OLIVIER JEAN, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

Cole Caufield

The United States will not suffer from any inferiority complex. They are banking on the best goalie in the NHL, on a strong and mobile defensive brigade, as well as on forwards capable of filling the net. On paper, this team is well balanced and has no apparent weaknesses. Cole Caufield? After a start to the season below expectations, he is getting back on track. He will have to produce at the same rate as his last 10 games to hope to dislodge one of the wingers on this list. At the moment he is not in the top 15 attackers for goals or points.

Sweden

Attackers

Jesper Bratt – Elias Pettersson – William Nylander

Filip Forsberg – Mika Zibanejad – Adrian Kempe

Lucas Raymond – Joel Eriksson Ek – Elias Lindholm

Leo Carlsson – William Karlsson – Calle Järnkrok

Defenders

Victor Hedman – Erik Karlsson

Rasmus Dahlin – Rasmus Andersson

Hampus Lindholm – Gustav Forsling

Guardians

Linus Ullmark, Jacob Markström

Substitutes

Gabriel Landeskog, Jonas Brodin, Filip Gustavsson

Sweden’s strength is the quality of its group of defenders, to which I could have added Mattias Ekholm, Adam Larsson or Rasmus Sandin. The numerical advantage and the first line will be formidable. The other three trios are weaker than those of Canada and the United States. On the other hand, Joel Eriksson Ek and Elias Lindholm are among the best defensive forwards in the NHL. Mikael Backlund would be another option.

I made room for Gabriel Landeskog, who hasn’t played for two years, but has started training again.

Finland

Attackers

Matias Macelli – Aleksander Barkov – Mikko Rantanen

Teuvo Teravainen – Sebastian Aho – Eeli Tolvanen

Artturi Lehkonen – Roope Hintz – Patrik Laine

Erik Haula – Mikael Granlund – Joel Armia

Defenders

Miro Heiskanen – Henri Jokiharju

Esa Lindell – Jani Hakanpää

Niko Mikkola – Olli Maata

Guardians

Juuse Saros, Kevin Lankinen

Substitutes

Eetu Luostarinen, Juuso Valimaki, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen

PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

Joel Armia

I love the center line. Except that elsewhere, it lacks depth everywhere. Aside from Mikko Rantanen and Miro Heiskanen, I don’t believe any other winger or defenseman would crack the Canada and United States rosters. It creates interesting debates. For example: Could Joel Armia be selected? He has had success with the national team, both among juniors and seniors. He is reliable defensively. And of all the forwards on the list above, he’s the only right-handed one, along with Patrik Laine. Since Finland is especially likely to play without the puck, and to absorb waves of attack one after the other, I would prefer him to Jesperi Kotkaniemi or Kaapo Kakko.


reference: www.lapresse.ca

Leave a Comment