TORONTO -- Team Europe, an amalgam of players from smaller European hockey nations, will be a bit of an unknown quantity heading into the World Cup of Hockey, but the lineup will be heavy on veteran experience based on the first 16 players announced to the roster on Wednesday.
Former Norris Trophy winner Zdeno Chara will anchor a blue line that also includes Chara's Boston Bruins teammate Dennis Seidenberg and veteran Swiss defender Mark Streit. Roman Josi, who has emerged as one of the NHL's top defensemen, was also one of five defenders announced by general manager Miroslav Satan on Wednesday. Edmonton's Andrej Sekera was the fifth member of the blue line corps named.
The forward contingent will be led by two-time Stanley Cup champion Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings and three-time Stanley Cup champ Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks. Team Europe announced nine forwards on Wednesday, and none of those named would qualify as a surprise.
The group includes a nice blend of speed and veteran experience; Mikkel Boedker, who was traded this week to Colorado from Arizona, Thomas Vanek (Minnesota), Tomas Tatar (Detroit), Mats Zuccarello (New York Rangers), Frans Nielsen (New York Islanders), Jannik Hansen (Vancouver) and youngster Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton), who at 20 is the youngest player on the roster. The team also named two goaltenders, red-hot Frederik Andersen of the Anaheim Ducks and New York Islanders starter Jaroslav Halak.
Seven nations -- Slovenia, Slovakia, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Norway -- are represented by the initial roster announcement.