Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey is weird. It's a new team at the tournament, and it consists of under-23 players from the United States and Canada. If you're under that age you can't play for your actual national team, and instead we get this weird team that, while complicated to root for, will be a ton of fun to watch.
Sean Couturier of the Philadelphia Flyers is one player to make this club. He will be a big time shutdown center for this team and those elements of his game -- rare for a player at his age -- are likely why he's on the team.
"He has a strong two-way component to his game," team general manager Peter Chiarelli, of the Edmonton Oilers, said. Good size, good matchup guy. Todd [McLellan], our coach, knows him well having him on the World Championship team last year."
Équipe des 23 ans et moins à la coupe du monde pic.twitter.com/v5mfTn0j1N— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) March 2, 2016
"These are guys who are just starting their career and haven't played a lot of games," team exec Stan Bowman, of the Blackhawks, said. "But a lot of them have grown and have stood out throughout the year."
Gostisbehere can certainly qualify in that regard, but I guess the staff wants to see more from him over the next two months before they make a final decision. They also were only able to select 16 players here, so that's part of it as well. There will be more defensemen named to this team and Ghost certainly has a great case to qualify for one of the final three spots on the blue line.
As for Ghost, he'll most likely be competing with Jacob Trouba, Colton Parayko and Dougie Hamilton for one of the last three spots.— Charlie O'Connor (@BSH_Charlie) March 2, 2016
Here's what they'll wear: