Mathew Barzal

Mathew Barzal of the NY Islanders at the puck, defended by Radko Gudas of Washington.

Last year, Canada arrived at the World Cup with an inconspicuous team that barely advanced from the group, but eventually pushed the tough Finns in the final. This time, coach Claude Julien will bring a stronger selection. And just Barzal belongs to his greatest personalities.

It stands out above all for its great skating and dexterity. Overseas, he still remains a little underappreciated. Maybe it’s by defending the colors of the Islanders, who rely on a solid defense. Defensive activity is often described as its main weakness, but the 24-year-old distribution center has offensive skills.

Thomas Chabot

Lawson Crouse of Arizona fouls Thomas Chabot of Ottawa.

Another pull of last year’s champions. The 25-year-old defender is preparing for his third championship, having a silver medal from 2019 at home.

Chabot will give Canada strength in personal battles and confidence and creativity in the game. He is no stranger to supporting the offensive, he has always exceeded thirty points in the last four seasons. This year he scored 7 goals and 31 passes in 59 matches.

Seth Jones

Seth Jones reaps congratulations on the goal from his teammates from Chicago.

The fourth highest paid back in the overseas competition. It costs $ 9.5 million a year, with only Erik Karlsson of San Jose, Drew Doughty of Los Angeles and Zach Werenski of Columbus having a more lucrative contract. Last season, the 27-year-old American wore the Blue Jackets jersey.

But in the summer he headed to Chicago. Although he collected 13 points more than Chabot (5 + 46), in the +/- statistics he has a terrible -37. He will play at the World Cup after seven long years. He could form a defensive pair with his three-year-younger brother Caleb.

Jakub Vrána

Czech forward Jakub Vrána (left) and Swiss forward Andres Ambühl in a fight for ...

Together with Tomáš Hertl, the biggest star of the Czech selection. A different player and an excellent shooter who does not lack the necessary confidence. Due to an injured shoulder, he did not return to action until the beginning of March, but it was a comeback in style. In 26 duels, he scored 13 goals for Detroit.

He also scored twice at the Swedish Games, now he is heading for the third championship in a row. Miloš Říha blamed him for deficiencies in the defense, and Filip Pešán did not find a permanent place in the team for him. If the national team wants to succeed, Kari Jalonen must be in the case of the 26-year-old Crows do better than its predecessors.

Juraj Slafkovský

Slovak forward Juraj Slafkovský (20) sends a pass around the Finnish defender ...

The most useful player of the Olympic Games. In Beijing, he won seven times in the same number of matches, led the Slovaks to an unexpected third place and completely enchanted the hockey world. He also has a successful year at the club level, with TPS Turku he played the finals of the highest Finnish competition.

He celebrated his eighteenth birthday at the end of March, his whole career is yet to come. In the case of a successful performance at the championship, he can further improve his position at the NHL summer draft in Montreal, where he should be among the elite five. The same goes for his partner Šimon Nemec and the Czech Benjamin David Jiříček.

Timo Meier

Zdeno Chára chases Tim Meier.

The only San Jose player to beat Hertl in the productivity table this season. The 25-year-old striker scored 76 points (35 + 41) in 77 matches. Already at last year’s tournament in Riga, he was one of the mainstays of Switzerland, which surprisingly lost to Germany 2: 3 in the quarterfinals.

Coach Patrick Fischer’s charges are among the favorites again this time. He also added a traditionally strong group of players from Europe Nico Hischier from New Jersey, Pius Suter of Detroit or Janis Moser of Arizona. In addition, star defender Roman Josi could arrive after the end in Nashville in the first round of the playoffs.

Moritz Seider

Czech forward Jan Kovář is catching up with German Moritz Seider.

When Detroit turned it into a six draft three years ago, it was a pretty big surprise. But over time, it turned out that the Red Wings made the right choice. The 21-year-old German completed the first season among the overseas hockey elite. And he did excellently (7 + 43).

For his age, he works very well on the ice. He seems to have been in the NHL for some time. He directs the game, he is not afraid to harden, he can fire sharply, he can also get a power play. No wonder he will compete for the best rookie Calder trophy with Trevor Zegras of Anaheim and Michael Bunting.

Rasmus Dahlin

Rasmus Dahlin (left) from Buffalo leads the puck, he is attacked by Scott Laughton from ...

The Swedes will also come up with the defender who should have the future. Dahlin he celebrated his 22nd birthday only a month ago. Compared to Seider, he found himself under even more pressure at the start of his NHL career, as Buffalo made him the number one young talent auction in 2018.

Even before his premiere in the overseas competition, he played at the Olympic tournament in Pyongyang, when he was only seventeen. He was especially impressed by the excellent reading of the game, he earned a comparison with Nicklas Lindström. Will last year’s Johan Garpenlöv team explosion, which ended up in the basic group, help make up for it?

Nikolaj Ehlers

Nikolaj Ehlers (right) from Winnipeg attacks Mike Hoffman from Florida.

The Danes have already shown in Beijing that it is not advisable to underestimate them. The opponents had problems with the emphasis and sophisticated defensive system, the Czechs could also tell about it. Ehlers will give the experienced team the lack of hockey and above all straightforwardness.

You won’t find much faster players in the NHL. The 26-year-old striker relies on excellent movement and has been a Winnipeg driver for several seasons. In the cabin, he meets his father Heinz, who has been leading the Nordic team for four years.

Elvis Merzlikins

Columbus' Elvis Merzlikins celebrates defeating Detroit.

One of the best goalkeepers of this year’s championship. After a long engagement in Lugano, Switzerland, he went overseas only in 2019. He started immediately in Columbus. Over time, he caught Joonas Korpisal and worked his way up to number one.

In September, 28-year-old Latvia signed an improved, five-year contract ($ 5.4 million a year). He gained confidence in 59 matches this season, keeping the success rate just below 91 percent (90.7%). He will also catch in Finland for a close friend and former goalkeeper Matisse Kivlenieks, who tragically died last summer.