When the World Cup of hockey was announced last summer I don't think many people would have expected Leon Draisaitl to make the cut for the Team Europe, a team made up of player from the countries not directly participating in the tournament. Following training camp and his assignment to Bakersfield in the AHL the chances of his playing in the tournament with some of Europe's best was probably even more remote.
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But an injury to Connor McDavid opened the door for Draisaitl and he didn't just walk through it, he kicked the door open with 16 goals and 28 assists in 55 games. He's been a fantastic player for the Oilers this season and one of the team's bright spots. His play rightly got the attention of the people putting together Team Europe and Drasiatl was today named as part of the team's preliminary roster announcement.
Joining Draisaitl on Team Europe will be Andrej Sekera. See, the Oilers defence isn't that bad, at least one of them is good enough to play in a tournament like this. Not really a best on best tournament, more of a best-ish on best-ish, that's a decent description. Sekera is from Solvakia and has represented his home country on numerous occasions, including five World Championships and the last two Olympics.
These are the 14 other players that we know will skate alongside Sekera and Draisaitl:
G Frederik Andersen, Anaheim Ducks (Denmark)
G Jaroslav Halak, New York Islanders (Slovakia)
D Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins (Slovakia)
D Roman Josi, Nashville Predators (Switzerland)
D Dennis Seidenberg, Boston Bruins (Germany)
D Andrej Sekera, Edmonton Oilers (Slovakia)
D Mark Streit, Philadelphia Flyers (Switzerland)
F Mikkel Boedker, Colorado Avalanche (Denmark)
F Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers (Germany)
F Jannik Hansen, Vancouver Canucks (Denmark)
F Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks (Slovakia)
F Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings (Slovenia)
F Frans Nielsen, New York Islanders (Denmark)
F Tomas Tatar, Detroit Red Wings (Slovakia)
F Thomas Vanek, Minnesota Wild (Austria)
F Mats Zuccarello, New York Rangers (Norway)