Patrick Kane will have at least one of his Blackhawks teammates on his side at the 2019 IIHF World Championship because winger Alex DeBrincat was named among the 17 players on Team USA’s preliminary roster for the upcoming tournament.
Sixteen of the players named come from the NHL with the lone exception being 19-year-old goaltender Cayden Primeau, who plays college hockey at Northeastern.
DeBrincat was a no-brainer for the Americans’ roster assuming he had interest in playing next month. The 21-year-old played for the team at Worlds last year and racked up 41 goals in his sophomore season with the Blackhawks, firmly establishing himself as one of the premier scorers in hockey.
With so many top American players still playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, DeBrincat stood out as a prime option to team back up with Kane, who will serve as the captain for the U.S. team.
Other notable players on the roster include Sabres center Jack Eichel, Coyotes winger Clayton Keller, Wild defenseman Ryan Suter and Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes, the older brother of the expected top pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, Jack Hughes.
Unless there are some surprises in store, the Blackhawks won’t have as large of a presence on Team USA this year, however. Kane, DeBrincat, Connor Murphy and Jordan Oesterle represented their country and the Hawks at last year’s tournament.
The Americans open its 2019 World Championship schedule with a matchup against Slovakia on May 10. The team will also play France, Finland, Great Britain, Denmark, Germany and Canada in the group stage. The quarterfinals will be played May 23, the semifinals May 25 and the gold medal game May 26.