On Thursday evening, Team North America announced that Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid would be the captain of the team. The team also announced Florida Panthers defensemen Aaron Ekblad and Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier would serve as the alternate captains of the team. The announcement was made just a couple of hours before Team North America’s World Cup of Hockey pre-tournament game against Team Europe.
— NHLPA (@NHLPA) September 8, 2016
McDavid, Ekblad, Couturier and Team North America will be competing in the first World Cup of Hockey in 12 years, the last one taking place in 2004 when Team Canada won it all. The 19-year-old Oilers star will captain the group of under-23 stars throughout the tournament. Team North America is in Group B along with Team Finland, Team Russia, and Team Sweden.
McLellan Points To Strong Leadership
“On a team full of future NHL captains, we have a strong leadership group on Team North America,” Team North America head coach Todd McLellan said in a press release. “In particular, these three players — Connor, Sean and Aaron — have identified themselves in camp as key leaders for our team. They will be assisted by their teammates to ensure the full group is working together towards our goal of having success in the World Cup of Hockey.”
Team North America faces off tonight against Team Europe in their first preliminary game, and will then play Team Europe again on September 11th in their first tournament game.