CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada has added Marc-Edouard Vlasic (Montreal/San Jose, NHL), Mitch Marner (Thornhill, Ont./Toronto, NHL), Brayden Schenn (Saskatoon, Sask./Philadelphia, NHL), and Chad Johnson (Calgary/Calgary, NHL) to its now 22-player roster competing at the 2017 IIHF World Championship in Paris, France, and Cologne, Germany, May 5-21.
The first 18 players named to Team Canada were announced last week, and include gold-medallists from the IIHF World Junior Championship, the IIHF World Championship, and the Olympic Winter Games.
Vlasic joins Matt Duchene (Haliburton, Ont./Colorado, NHL), Claude Giroux (Hearst, Ont./Philadelphia, NHL), and Ryan O’Reilly (Varna, Ont./Buffalo, NHL) as players who will bookend their NHL season representing their nation – the four were part of the Canadian team that won gold at the World Cup of Hockey before opening the 2016-17 NHL season, and will suit up for the red-and-white again at Worlds. Vlasic has also won gold for his country at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, and won silver with Canada at the 2009 IIHF World Championship in Switzerland.
Marner will be representing his country in international competition for the third time in his career; he won gold at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial, and was part of Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. Marner is coming off his rookie season with the Toronto Maple Leafs as the 2016-17 rookie leader in regular-season assists, having notched 42 in 77 games.
Schenn competed at the 2014 and 2015 IIHF World Championships, helping Canada to gold in 2015. He is also a two-time IIHF World Junior Championship silver-medallist (2010, 2011), and won gold for Canada at the 2008 IIHF U18 Worlds. Drafted fifth overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 2009, Schenn has been a regular fixture on the Philadelphia Flyers’ roster since the 2013-14 season, and is coming off his two strongest offensive NHL seasons.
Johnson will compete at his second IIHF World Championship, having been part of the Canadian squad in 2010. The Calgarian played the 2016-17 NHL season for his hometown Flames following stints with the New York Rangers, Phoenix Coyotes, Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, and Buffalo Sabres since first entering the league in 2009.
All player selections were made by Team Canada’s management group – general manager Ron Hextall (Brandon, Man./Philadelphia, NHL); assistant general manager Sean Burke (Windsor, Ont./Montreal, NHL); director of player personnel Larry Carrière (Montreal/Montreal, NHL); and Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), vice-president of hockey operations and national teams with Hockey Canada – with input from the coaching staff, which comprises head coach Jon Cooper (Prince George, B.C./Tampa Bay, NHL), Gerard Gallant (Summerside, P.E.I./Vegas, NHL), Dave Hakstol (Warburg, Alta./Philadelphia, NHL), and Dave King (Saskatoon, Sask.).
This year’s Team Canada roster includes five players who captured gold at the 2016 IIHF World Championship (Pickard, Matheson, Duchene, O’Reilly, Scheifele), seven who were selected to play at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey (Team Canada – Duchene, Giroux, O’Reilly, Vlasic; Team North America – Couturier, MacKinnon, Scheifele), and six also won gold at the 2015 IIHF World Championship (Barrie, Couturier, Duchene, Giroux, O’Reilly, MacKinnon).
Team Canada hits the ice in Geneva, Switzerland, for a pre-tournament camp, which includes a tune-up game on May 2 against the Swiss. Two-time member of Team Canada at the Deutschland Cup (2012, 2016), Chris Lee (MacTier, Ont./Metallurg Magnitogorsk, KHL), and 2004 Memorial Cup champion Mike Card (Kitchener, Ont./Löwen Frankfurt, DEL2) will join the squad for the pre-tournament camp and game in Geneva.
Canada opens the 2017 IIHF World Championship against the Czech Republic on Friday, May 5, with preliminary-round games scheduled through Tuesday, May 16. The bronze- and gold-medal games will take place on Sunday, May 21.
Team Canada has won gold at the last two IIHF World Championships, going undefeated during the 2015 tournament, and blanking Finland 2-0 in the gold-medal game in 2016.
Since 1931, Canada was won the world championship 20 times – not counting the years when Olympic Winter Games champions were also considered world champion. The country has also collected 11 silver medals and six bronze in that timespan.