Tomorrow morning the IIHF World Championships being in Belarus. The Philadelphia Flyers organization will have five participants in the tournament. Matt Read, Brayden Schenn, and Braydon Coburn will play for Team Canada, Erik Gustafsson will play for Team Sweden, and Oliver Lauridsen will play for Team Denmark.
Here is a preview of each player’s expected role and schedule.
According to multiple reports, including this tweet and this tweet, it looks as if Matt Read will start the tournament as the right wing on Canada’s third line. He will be able to play on a line with Brayden Schenn, but he is behind Nathan MacKinnon and Troy Brouwer on the depth chart. I suspect that Canada expects Read to play his usual solid two-way game. If he is able to punch in a few goals early in the tournament his ice time and offensive responsibility will increase to that of a top-six winger.
Last year Read played in eight World Championship games for Team Canada. Read recorded one goal and two assists. The other winger on his line for now is Jonathan Huberdeau. All three members of that line have high offensive upside, so they should be fun to watch if they can get going.
Schenn looks like he will start the tournament centering the third line. He is behind Kyle Turris and Nazem Kadri on the depth char, while having Mark Scheifele breath down his neck from the fourth line. Canada has a strong group of young centers in this tournament, so Schenn will need to be on top of his game if wants to receive playing time.
Although Schenn did not participate in the World Championships last year he does have a history of international success. At the 201o World Junor Championships, as an 18 year old, Schenn recorded two goals and six assists in six games to help Canada win the silver medal. The following year Schenn recorded eight goals and 10 assists in only seven games to lead Canada to another runner up finish.
Coburn was a late addition to Team Canada with the withdrawal of Mark Methot. He will start the tournament paired with Tyler Myers on the second defensive unit. Myers has gone through hard times the past few years after winner the Calder Trophy in 2009-2010. Both Coburn and Myers have great size and will be more than capable of shutting down their opponents. Although neither player is known for offense, Myers will likely be the primary puck mover/offensive force on that pairing.
The last time Braydon Coburn appeared on the international stage was in the 2009 World Championships. Coburn played in five games and recorded one assist.
Gustafsson will likely try to build off of his tremendous World Championship performance last season. After finishing out the 2013 NHL season in strong fashion, Gustafsson went on to play in all 10 games for Team Sweden. He earned one goal, one assist, was +7, and was on the ice for nearly 24 minutes per game.
The only other NHL defensemen on Team Sweden are Tim Erixon (CBJ, played sparingly this season) and Mattias Ekholm (NSH). Neither player has Gustafsson’s offensive punch, so expect Gustafsson to be relied upon by the Swedes once again.
After playing 15 games for the Philadelphia Flyers last season, the Great Dane spent this entire season with the Adirondack Phantoms. Lauridsen recorded one goal and 10 assists through 63 AHL games this season. He was paired predominantly with Mark Alt and Matt Konan throughout the year. Lauridsen is on a one way NHL contract next season and will gain valuable experience through this tournament.
Lauridsen played in seven games for Denmark last year in the World Championships. He did not post any points and earned six penalty minutes.