Watching playoff hockey is great, but it isn’t the same when your team isn’t involved. For the fifth time in six years since arriving from Atlanta, the Jets 2.0 were sent home at the end of the regular season and Winnipeg was left without playoff hockey.
Okay, so now what? Jump on a playoff bandwagon? Cheer against the Oilers? Re-read scouting reports and YouTube highlight videos for 2017 draft-eligible prospects? Fantasize about Chevy trading for a really good left-handed defenceman? Blah.
That’s what the World Hockey Championship comes in. It isn’t the best tournament ever, but it provides fans of teams not in the playoffs an opportunity to watch their team’s players play competitive hockey after the regular season. This year, the Jets have seven players at the Worlds, the most of any NHL team other than Colorado.
Mark Scheifele, Josh Morrissey, and Eric Comrie will all join Team Canada this spring, joining a very strong lineup that’s looking to three-peat. None of the other good teams, like Russia, Sweden, or the United States, are in Canada’s group, which will play in Paris, France. Scheifele will be playing in his third tournament for Canada, as he was on the team last spring and in 2014, while Morrissey and Comrie, both of whom have played internationally at the World Juniors, will appear in their first tournament. It’s hard to say how much action Comrie will see, as he’s likely third behind Chad Johnson and Calvin Pickard on the team’s depth chart.
Friday, May 5 vs. The Czech Republic at 1:15 pm CT
Sunday, May 7 vs. Slovakia at 5:15 am CT
Monday, May 8 vs. Belarus at 9:15 am CT
Thursday, May 11 vs. France at 1:15 pm CT
Saturday, May 13 vs. Switzerland at 1:15 pm CT
Monday, May 15 vs. Norway at 9:15 pm CT
Tuesday, May 16 vs. Finland at 1:15 pm CT
Like Canada, there will be three Jets, Jacob Trouba, Andrew Copp, and Connor Hellebuyck, joining the United States’ roster. The USA will be playing in the stronger group along with Sweden and Russia in Cologne, Germany. Trouba played for the United States at the Worlds after the 2013 and 2014 seasons, and also played for the sort of kind of USA team, Team North America U-23 Millennial Jamboree or whatever you want to call it, at last summer’s World Cup of Hockey. Copp has never played at the tournament, but Hellebuyck has. In 2015, Hellebuyck gained a lot of attention with a very strong performance at the Worlds, posting a .948 save percentage on a Bronze Medal winning team. He’ll likely be splitting the duty with Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard.
Friday, May 5 vs. Germany at 1:15 pm CT
Sunday, May 7 vs. Denmark at 9:15 am CT
Monday, May 8 vs. Sweden at 1:15 pm CT
Wednesday, May 10 vs. Italy at 9:15 am CT
Saturday, May 13 vs. Latvia at 5:15 am CT
Sunday, May 14 vs. Slovakia at 9:15 am CT
Tuesday, May 16 vs. Russia at 9:15 am CT
Nik Ehelers will be the lone NHL player on Denmark’s roster this spring. He’s already played three games internationally this season in 2018 Olympic Qualifying for Denmark, and will be making his second World Hockey Championship appearance. In 2016, Ehlers played a key role in helping Denmark surprise and make it out of the ground stage for just the second time in the nation’s history.
Saturday, May 6 vs. Latvia at 5:15 am CT
Sunday, May 7 vs. USA at 9:15 am CT
Tuesday, May 9 vs. Slovakia at 1:15 pm CT
Thursday, May 11 vs. Russia at 9:15 am CT
Friday, May 12 vs. Germany at 1:15 pm CT
Sunday, May 14 vs. Germany at 1:15 pm CT
Monday, May 15 vs. Italy at 9:15 am CT