Why North America Could Be Sneaky Good In The World Cup Of Hockey
Eric Bolte, USATSI

With Canada the heavy favorite at the World Cup of Hockey, why not give the young guns some love.

When the World Cup of Hockey was announced in January of 2015, the teams were pretty standard. The USA, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Russia, and the North American young stars …

Wait, Who?

Known simply as Team North America, the team is comprised of the best players under the age of 23 from Canada America.

The names McDavid, Eichel, Gaudreau, names of the 2014 and 2015 drafts are all on the same side of the ice, and that can be deadly.

Some are doubtful of the squad, seeing as they don’t have the experience and depth of international superpowers like Canada. They have a heavy advantage in one department, speed.

Speed and their ability to score goals will be key for the youngsters in the tournament.

One of the few things that are holding people back are their age, and lack of experience in big games. Well, Brandon Saad is a two time Stanley Cup winner, Matt Murray placed his name on the cup this past summer as the starter for the Penguins, and almost everyone else on the roster has playoffs experience.

If you aren’t a believer, watch the tape as they put on a clinic last Sunday night against Team Europe, thrashing them 5-0 in all senses of the game. If that isn’t enough watch their other exhibition vs Europe (a 4-0 victory).

The main concern is the bottom three of the defense. Headlined by Aaron Ekblad, Seth Jones, and Sean Gostisbeher, after that is Ryan Murray, Morgan Reilly, Jacob Trouba, and Colton Parayako.

The defense may be able to catch a break seeing as is the team has very good goaltending.

The idea of facing a Jack Eichel, Connor McDavid, and Johnny Gaudreau line gives any defensive pair ever a headache.

They also could have favorable group, the only team that will seem to give them trouble is Sweden who isn’t getting any younger, Finland’s goaltending seems to be their only strength, and they can outgun Russia’s forwards.

The question will be can the kids beat the boys of the north?

The key will be can North America utilize their speed to get around the defense and give Cary Price trouble.

The real proof is the good ol’ eye test, watching how a team of young kids can tear apart defenses filled with elite players and Hall of Famers.

Team North America opens against Finland on Sunday at eight o’clock, see for yourself what makes them great.

People ask me what I do in the summer when there's no hockey, I tell you what I do, I still talk about hockey.