Joe Pavelski celebrates scoring a third-period goal against Russia in the men's ice hockey preliminary round game at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on Feb. 15, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
Joe Pavelski, who last season led the San Jose Sharks to its first Stanley Cup Final, has been named captain of Team USA’s squad that will compete at the third World Cup of Hockey, scheduled for Sept. 17-Oct. 1 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
The team also announced the selection of two alternate captains, Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter and reigning Hart Trophy winner Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks.
A member of the silver-medal-winning team at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Pavelski has 2 goals and 8 assists in 17 appearances for Team USA. He tallied 78 points (38 goals, 40 assists) for San Jose in 2015-16 while leading the National Hockey League with 11 game-winning goals.
With 106 points last season, including 46 goals, Kane became the first American-born player two win the Art Ross Trophy, presented to the NHL’s points leader. He is a three-time medalist for Team USA, with 18 goals and 22 assists in 33 appearances for the United States.
Suter has the most experience among the U.S. players traveling to Toronto with 70 games to his credit. A veteran of 11 prior international competitions, he also served as an alternate captain at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. An alternate captain for the Wild, he registered 51 points (8 goals, 43 assists) last season.
Joining Pavelski, Kane and Suter on the U.S. roster are: Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks; David Backes, Boston Bruins; Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche; Brandon Dubinsky and Jack Johnson, Columbus Blue Jackets; Justin Abdelkader, Detroit Red Wings; Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings; Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild; Max Pacioretty, Montreal Canadiens; Kyle Palmieri and Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils; Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan, New York Rangers; Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning; James van Riemsdyk, Toronto Maple Leafs; John Carlson and Matt Niskanen and T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals; Dustin Byfuglien and Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets.
Eight teams will participate in the tournament: national teams from the United States, host Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic, as well as Team Europe (featuring a roster of players from remaining European countries) and Team North America (comprised of U.S. and Canadian under-23 players).
The United States will open the tournament at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 17 against Group A foe Team Europe, with Canada and the Czech Republic rounding out the group. Russia, Sweden, Finland and Team North America make up Group B. After the group stage is completed on Sept. 22, the top two teams in each group advanced to single-game knockout semifinals on Sept. 24 and 25, with the two winners squaring off in a best-of-three final scheduled to begin on September 27.
The U.S. won the first World Cup of Hockey in 1996, with Canada taking the title in 2004.