The list of Oilers who will be representing their home country at this year's IIHF World Championship being held in Russia continues to grow. Today the Oilers announced that Leon Draisaitl would be there representing Germany. He joins a list that include Connor McDavid, Taylor Hall, and Cam Talbot who will play for Canada, Patrick Maroon and Matt Hendricks who will play for the United States, and Andrej Sekera who will represent Slovakia.
Sekera & Draisaitl will join fellow #Oilers Hall, McDavid & Talbot (Canada) plus Hendricks & Maroon (USA) at #IIHFWorlds.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) April 11, 2016
The tournament, which is being hosted in Moscow and St. Petersburg, begins on May 6th, and ends with the gold medal game on May 22nd. Canada will play all seven of their preliminary round games in St. Petersburg. Their schedule is as follows.
|Friday, May 6||07:15 MST||USA vs Canada|
|Sunday, May 8||03:15 MST||Hungary vs Canada|
|Monday, May 9||07:15 MST||Belarus vs Canada|
|Thursday, May 12||11:15 MST||Canada vs Germany|
|Saturday, May 14||11:15 MST||Canada vs Slovakia|
|Monday, May 16||07:15 MST||Canada vs France|
|Tuesday, May 17||11:15 MST||Canada vs Finland|
If you're wondering why a couple of other Oilers, specifically Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle aren't also playing for Team Canada, Jason Gregor shed some light on those decisions yesterday. In the case of Eberle, his sister is having a baby and he's got a wedding to attend. And Nugent-Hopkins is going to let the hand that he injured this season, which is not 100% right now, heal fully instead of joining Team Canada in Russia.
In recent years the Oilers have a questionable history when it comes to dealing with injuries, and so the news that Nugent-Hopkins has been playing with a hand that is not 100% is likely to get the attention of some. And I understand that but I don't think there's a story there. Coming back from a broken bone it seems likely to me that he was playing through some pain but was at no risk of injuring himself further by playing.