World Hockey Championships: Group A Preview


RUSSIA
Actual name: Росси́я (Rossija)
2016 Roster
Do I know any of these people? Definitely. Right now about half of Russia’s roster unsurprisingly comes from the KHL, but there’s a ludicrous amount of firepower that can come over from the NHL Playoffs. Russia is pretty much the Dallas Stars of the WHC – lots of offense but not much defense or goaltending. NHLers on Russia’s roster at the moment include Pavel Datsyuk (DET?), Nail Yakupov (EDM), Semyon Varlamov (COL), Sergei Bobrovsky (CBJ), Alexei Emelin (MON), and others. If you want a last look at Maxim Chudinov before he ditches the Bruins, here’s your chance. You have a chance to see how Alex Semin is doing these days.
Possible NHL reinforcements Valeri Nichushkin (DAL), Nikolai Kulemin (RUS), Evgeni Malkin (PIT), Vladimir Tarasenko (STL), Nikita Kucherov (TBL), Vadislav Namestnikov (TBL), Nikita Nesterov (TBL), Andre Vasilevskiy (TBL), Alex Ovechkin (WAS), Evgeny Kuznetzov (WAS), Stanislav Galiev (WAS), Dimitry Orlov (WAS). If the Capitals and Lightning are eliminated in Round Two, that’ll be a lot of very angry and very talented players coming over.
Jersey grade: B+
Just the right amount of ostentatiousness. The imperial look suits Team Russia well. The lettering is a nice touch.


SWEDEN
Actual name: Sverige
2016 Roster
Do I know any of these people? A handful, but not as many as you’d expect. Nearly all of the big names are sitting this one out in favor of the World Cup of Hockey, such as Loui Eriksson, the Sedin twins, and Henrik Lundqvist. NHLers on their roster right now are Adam Larsson (NJD), Gustav Nyquist (DET), Mikael Backlund (CGY), Jacob Markström (VAN), Alexander Wennberg (CBJ), and Erik Gustafsson (CHI). The rest of the roster comes from the SEL, KHL, and Swiss league.
Possible NHL reinforcements: It looks like Sweden is mailing this one in so they can load up for the World Cup. As such, it’s hard to tell which players still in the NHL Playoffs will play in the WHC. However, they have a lot of options, such as John Klingberg (DAL), Filip Forsberg (NAS), Calle Jarnkrok (NAS), Mattias Ekholm (NAS), Patric Hornqvist (PIT), Carl Hagelin (PIT), Alex Steen (STL), Patrik Berglund (STL), Victor Hedman (TBL), Niklas Backstrom (WAS), and Marcus Johansson (WAS).
Jersey grade: A
The gold standard of international hockey jerseys. No need to change a thing.


CZECH REPUBLIC
Actual name: Česko
2016 Roster
Do I know any of these people? It’ll be good experience for the B’s David Pastrnak, but David Krejci’s out due to hip surgery. The Czech roster is thin on NHLers, though – just Pasta, Michal Jordán (CAR), Captain Turtleneck (MON), and Jiri Sekac (ARI). The rest of the roster comes from the KHL and Czech league. NHL prospects include Dominik Kubalik (LAK), Tomas Kundratek (NYR), and Adam Polasek (VAN). Jaromir Jagr’s sitting this one out so he can get some rest before begrudgingly going to the World Cup in September.
Possible NHL reinforcements: Ales Hemsky (DAL), Radex Faksa (DAL), Marek Mazanec (NAS), Marek Zidlicky (NYI), Tomas Hertl (SJS), Roman Polak (SJS), Ondrej Palat (TBL), Andrej Sustr (TBL).
Jersey grade: C+
What happened to the cool flag-styled jerseys? These are like Slovakia’s, but not as good.


SWITZERLAND
Actual name: Confoederatio Helvetica
2016 Roster
Do I know any of these people? A handful. Yannick Weber (VAN), Reto Berra (COL), Raphael Diaz (NYR), Nino Neenerneener (MIN), Sven Andrighetto (MON). There’s also Christian Marti of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Gregory Hoffman, a forward prospect of the Carolina Hurricanes. The rest of the roster comes entirely from the Swiss league. The Swiss made a lot of noise in 2013, winning the silver medal in the WCH with Martin Gerber backstopping them. Goalie Reto Berra has his work cut out for him if they hope to make the medal round this year.
Possible NHL reinforcements: Roman Josi (NAS), Mirco Mueller (SJS).
Jersey grade: C
They’re distinctively Swiss and yet I can’t help but feel that something’s missing. They seem too much like practice jerseys.


LATVIA
Actual name: Latvija
2016 Roster
Do I know any of these people? Zemgus Girgensons of the Sabres and the Ghost Dog himself, Kaspars Daugaviņš. There are also NHL prospects Elvis Merzlikins (CBJ), Edgars Kulda (ARI), and Ronalds Kenins (VAN). Just about everyone else comes from Dinamo Riga of the KHL.
Possible NHL reinforcements: None.
Jersey grade: A
Crisp, modern, sharp, and distinctive. Perfect execution.


NORWAY
Actual name: Norge
2016 Roster
Do I know any of these people? Probably just Andreas Martinsen of the Colorado Avalanche and Mats Zuccarello of the Rangers, but the Bruins drafted goalie Lars Volden in the 6th round of the 2011 draft. The only other NHL prospect on Norway’s roster is goalie Steffen Søberg (WAS).
Possible NHL reinforcements: None.
Jersey grade:´D
Seriously, Norway? It looks like you ironed on some letters onto blank jerseys. You’re Vikings. You can do better.


DENMARK
Actual name: Danmark
2016 Roster
Do I know any of these people? Nikolaj Ehlers of the Jets, Jannik Hansen of the Canucks, Lars Eller of the Canadiens. Rangers prospect Niklas Jensen plays for the Hartford Wolfpack while undrafted center Mikkel Aagard plays for the Sudbury Wolves. The rest of Denmark’s roster comes from various European leagues.
Possible NHL reinforcements: Frans Nielsen (NYI)
Jersey grade: A- (home), C (away)
Home (white) jersey has a cool-looking red lion photobombing the front. It’s dynamic. It’s striking. It’s fun. Thumbs up.
Away (red) jersey is super boring. Dunno what happened here. Just reverse the colors of the home jersey and you’re good to go.


KAZAKHSTAN
Actual name: Қазақстан (Qazaqstan)
2016 Roster
Do I know any of these people? Surprisingly, yes. Former Boston Bruins Brandon Bochenski. Their head coach is former Bruin pugilist Andrei Nazarov. There are also former NHLers Dustin Boyd and Nigel Dawes. The roster is almost entirely from the Kazakh KHL and RUS-2 teams: Barys Astana, Yertis Pavlodar, Kazzinc-Torpedo, and Saryarka Karagandy.
Possible NHL reinforcements: None.
Jersey grade: C-
Kazakhstan’s crest is really cool and I like the detailing on the bottom of the jersey, but the overall execution is lackluster. Sometimes less is more, but this is not one of those times. Did they just copy the look of their passports?

Satan81

About Satan81

David Krejci has a full no-movement clause.
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