On March 1, national hockey federations from around the globe will announce the first 16 players who will join their teams for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
In addition to the six nations that will send teams to the tournament -- held the last two weeks of September in Toronto -- we'll also have a Team Europe, comprised of players from nations not included in the tournament, and a Team North America, comprised of under-23 players from Canada and the USA.
And it's on that Team North America that Flyers rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has a shot. ESPN's Craig Custance released his newest projection for the 2016 World Cup, and the only change on the list from his last update in November is the addition of Ghost.
Custance has Ghost on a third pairing on that North American team, slotted next to Flames defenseman Dougie Hamilton. Joining those two on the blue line are Leafs' Morgan Reilly, Panthers' Aaron Ekblad, Blue Jackets' Ryan Murray and Seth Jones and Jets' Jacob Trouba. Ghost replaced Blues defenseman Colton Parayko from the previous projection.
If Ghost keeps up his pace over the remainder of the Flyers season here, there is no reason to think he won't make it. He's an absolutely deadly weapon offensively, as we all know, and could be an excellent asset on a team like this -- particularly for use on the power play.
Up front, the projection from ESPN is rather star-studded, and gives you the feeling that North America could actually medal in this tournament despite their youth. Sean Couturier feels like a lock given his defensive prowess and shut down abilities, because there is much more to building this team than just adding a ton of big name high scorers.
But we'll see on that front -- it's hard to have any clue how the management team of Peter Chiarelli, Stan Bowman and Todd McLellan will assemble this team.