With the World Cup of Hockey just right around the corner, team camps have commenced. With that, we have had the first look at what lineups could look like when the tournament begins. Out of all teams, Team North America appears to be the most interesting of that due to the glut of young and elite talent from top to bottom. Red Wings’ young gun Dylan Larkin is well-represented in that he will be playing with some of the NHL’s premiere talent:
NA lines at this point: Drouin-McDavid-Scheifele, Gaudreau-Eichel-Saad, MacKinnon-RNH-Larkin, Miller-Couturier-Matthews/Trocheck— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) September 5, 2016
With the immense depth that Team North America has, I didn’t really expect Larkin to draw into a role as a centerman. I thought he’d fall into the third line, but what I did not foresee were his linemates. Dylan Larkin, the Red Wings standout rookie of the year, will play with two former first-overall picks in Nathan MacKinnon and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
If you ask me, while I am excited to watch hockey on the television in late-September, the only reason I will tune into the World Cup of Hockey is due to Team North America. I mean, come on, the NHL’s top underage talent going head-to-head against all else? This isn’t the Olympics, folks. There is no gold medal. I mean, Team Europe will have some sort of abomination of an anthem made up of MIDI instruments. It’s a meaningless trophy that will ultimately end up washed away in the Hockey Hall of Fame one day. Really, aside from the fact that this entire tournament feels like a money-grab from the NHL, Team Canada is set to dominate the entire tournament, in Toronto, the “mecca of hockey” with Mike Babcock leading the way. Uh, narrative much?
This article isn’t meant to troll. It’s meant to express that much of the hype surrounding this event is due to the NHL’s glut of elite talent.
Regardless of my opinion, I feel like many hockey fans are pulling for Team North America. Why? Because they are made up of the most exciting players in the NHL. Dylan Larkin, Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, Aaron Ekblad... The list goes on. While the odds of winning it all are against them, this team is built to make noise. I could care less about every team but them. I’ll watch, I’ll cheer. I hope that Team North America beats Team USA, and I hope they beat Team Canada.
Dylan Larkin rules. Jack Eichel rules. Connor McDavid rules. Auston Matthews rules. Give me the youth movement, baby. Inject it into my veins.