The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Minnesota Wild announced today that five players have been named to initial rosters for the World Cup of Hockey 2016. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter were named to Team USA, Mikael Granlund and Mikko Koivu were named to Team Finland and Thomas Vanek was named to Team Europe. The tournament will take place over a two-week period, from Sept. 17 – Oct. 1, 2016. All games will be played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Parise has tallied 39 points (18-21=39) in 53 games with Minnesota this season. The Bloomington, Minn., native has played in eight international tournaments for the United States. He served as team captain at the 2014 Olympics and was named to the 2010 Olympic All-Star Team after ranking tied for third in tournament scoring with eight points (4-4=8) in six games, helping Team USA claim a silver medal as an alternate captain.
Parise scored the game-tying goal with 24.4 seconds remaining to send the gold-medal game vs. Canada into overtime. He also played for Team USA at the 2008, 2007 and 2005 World Championships.
Parise led the tournament in scoring and served as an alternate captain as Team USA claimed its first-ever World Junior Championship gold medal in 2004. He also participated in the 2003 World Junior Championship and won a gold medal at the 2002 Under-18 World Championship.
Suter has notched 42 points (7-35=42) in 64 games with the Wild this season. The native of Madison, Wis., has competed in 11 international tournaments for the United States. He served as an alternate captain, recorded three assists and led Team USA in TOI/game (23:27) at the 2014 Olympics.
Suter earned a silver medal at the 2010 Olympics while serving as an alternate captain and led the United States in TOI/game (22:50), highlighted by a game-high 31:31 played in the gold-medal game and tied for the tournament lead with a plus-9 rating. He participated in the 2009, 2007, 2006 and 2005 World Championships, served as captain at the 2005 World Junior Championship and was named to the All-Tournament Team after leading defensemen in scoring with eight points (1-7=8).
Suter helped the United States capture its first-ever gold medal at the 2004 World Junior Championship, participated in the World Junior Championship and the Under-18 World Championship in 2003 and earned a gold medal at the 2002 Under-18 World Championship.
Granlund has recorded 33 points (7-26=33) in 64 contests with Minnesota this season. The Oulu native has participated in nine international tournaments for Finland. He ranked tied for third in scoring at the 2014 Olympics with seven points (3-4=7) in six games and was named to the 2014 Olympic All-Star Team as Finland captured a bronze medal.
Granlund participated in the 2013, 2012 and 2011 World Championships, ranking second on the team and tied for fifth in tournament scoring with nine points (2-7=9) in nine games as Finland won the gold medal in 2011.
He served as captain at the 2012 World Junior Championship and ranked tied for second in tournament scoring with 11 points (2-9=11) in seven matches. Granlund also played in the 2010 and 2009 World Junior Championships and earned a bronze medal at the 2010 and 2009 Under-18 World Championships.
Koivu has notched 43 points (13-30=43) in 64 contests with Minnesota this season. The Turku native has participated in 13 international tournaments for Finland. He led Finland in scoring as captain at the 2012 World Championship and captained his country to a gold medal at the 2011 World Championship.
Koivu has won a silver medal at the 2006 Olympics, 2007 World Championship and 2004 World Cup of Hockey and earned a bronze medal at the 2010 Olympics, 2008 and 2006 World Championships, 2002 World Junior Championship and the 2001 Under-18 World Championship.
He captained and led Finland in scoring at the 2001 Under-18 World Championship, earned a silver medal at the 2001 World Junior Championship and won a gold medal at the 2000 Under-18 World Championship. Koivu missed the 2014 Olympics due to injury.
Vanek has recorded 38 points (18-20=38) in 63 games with the Wild this season. The Vienna native has played in six international tournaments for Austria. He registered one assist in four games at the 2014 Olympics and has also participated in the 2013, 2008 and 2004 World Championships and the 2004 and 2002 World Junior Championships.
Live coverage of all tournament games will be provided by ESPN in the United States. For more information on the World Cup of Hockey 2016 visit www.wch2016.com. The players for Team North America are selected from a pool of the best young hockey players from Canada and the United States. Those players must have a date of birth on or after Oct. 2, 1992 and will be available for selection exclusively by Team North America. Team Europe is comprised of a pan-European roster of players from birth countries outside of the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden.
The eight teams will be divided into two Groups of four, and each will compete in three tournament games within their assigned Group in a round-robin format. The top two finishers in Group A and Group B will advance to the semifinal round, where the first-place team from each Group will face an elimination game against the second-place team from the other Group. Winners of the semifinal games will advance to a best-of-three Final series.[Source: Minnesota Wild press release]