IIHF World Championships: Avs Represent, the Schedule & More

IIHF Worlds is the consolation tournament for NHL players that don’t make the playoffs or get dumped in round 1 but it’s not without it’s charm. It’s decent hockey at odd times of the day and a good distraction for those that identify more with their hometown players than random Stanley Cup favorites. Often eliminated early, the Avs usually send a large contingent but not this time. We’ve got just three players plus a new signee competing for 4 different teams. We have heard that Captain Gabe & Patrik Nemeth declined invitations from Team Sweden and Big Z from Russia due to injuries and surgical procedures.

Play starts bright and early tomorrow and goes through the Gold Medal Game on Sunday the 20th.

Tyson Jost – Canada

Jost makes his Worlds debut following his rookie season in the NHL. He’s been a staple for Team Canada since he was 16 in the WHC, Junior A Championships, the Ivan Hlinka World Juniors, etc. In 31 games he’s had 16 goals and 37 points wearing the red maple leaf. Yeah, that’s good.

May 4th vs Team USA, 10am ET
May 6th vs Korea, 6am ET
May 7th vs Denmark, 2pm ET
May 10th vs Norway, 2pm ET
May 12th vs Finland*, 2pm ET
May 14th vs Latvia, 2pm ET
May 15th vs Germany, 10am ET

Mikko Rantanen – Finland

The Finns get a boost with the NHL’s 16th leading scorer and a staple of their international teams since age 15. Mikko captained the Finnish WJC team to a gold medal in 2016 and last year had 10 points in 10 games at Worlds.

May 5th vs Korea, 10am ET
May 6th vs Latvia, 2pm ET
May 8th vs Norway, 2pm ET
May 9th vs Denmark, 2pm ET
May 12th vs Canada*, 2pm ET
May 13th vs Germany, 2pm ET
May 15th vs Team USA, 6am ET

Sven Andrighetto – Switzerland

Like the first two guys, Sven has been a fixture on Swiss international teams since he was in his mid-teens. He’s making his 2nd Worlds appearance and first since joining the Avs last season. In 2016, he scored 3 goals and 4 assists in 7 games and earned Top 3 Player on Team honors. The Swiss are in Group A so he won’t be facing Mikko or Jost in round robin play.

May 5th vs Austria, 6am ET
May 6th vs Slovakia, 2pm ET
May 8th vs Czech Republic*, 2pm ET
May 9th vs Belarus, 10am ET
May 12th vs Russia, 2pm ET
May 13th vs Sweden, 2pm ET
May 15th vs France, 6am ET

Pavel Francouz – Czech Republic

We had been hearing rumors for a couple weeks that the Avs were interested in Francouz and on Wednesday they signed the 27 year old Czech to a 1 year contract for next season. After a few solid years in Extraliga, Francouz moved to Traktor Chelyabinsk of the KHL for past 2 seasons and had the top save percentage in the league in both. Given his age he’s not really a prospect and KHL success isn’t necessarily a predictor for the NHL but this is a really solid signing for the Avs in an area where they’re quite thin. We will know quickly what kind of future he has in the NHL and while he can’t be considered Varly’s backup right out of the box I’m sure the plan going forward is to get him in that role ASAP.

Francouz has a long history with the Czech National Team and was their starting goalie in the Olympics this past Winter. He won all 3 games in the prelims (vs KOR, CAN, SUI) and a quarterfinal vs the US then ended up losing to notRussia in the Semis and the Canadians in the Bronze medal game. This is his 3rd appearance in the World Championships, last year he played 4 games with a .910 Sv% and 1.49 GAA earning Top 3 Player on Team award.

May 5th vs Slovakia, 2pm ET
May 6th vs Sweden, 10am ET
May 8th vs Switzerland*, 2pm ET
May 10th vs Russia, 2pm ET
May 11th vs Belarus, 2pm ET
May 13th vs France, 10am ET
May 14th vs Austria, 2pm ET

Highlights

We’re all excited to see what Francouz can do so any game that fits into your busy schedule will be a plus. The two head-to-head matchups between Sven/Francouz (May 8th) and Mikko/Jost (May 12th) are must see games. It’s always tough to handicap these tourneys but traditionally you would think the Swiss and Czechs will be battling with Slovakia and perhaps others for the 3rd/4th slots in Group A behind Sweden and Russia. Finland and Canada should be among the favorites to win Group B along with Team USA. We’ll have important points on the site as they occur and I’ll see if I can get Rudo to do a Shot-by-Shot video of Paul the Frenchman at some point. Enjoy!

Full schedule

 

 

earl06

Scoring LW, punchy climber for the Ardennes classics, spirit guide

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