Team Finland World Cup Roster Finalized

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The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will run from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1, 2016 in Toronto where teams from Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia,  Sweden, USA, are joined Team Europe and Team North America to compete in a new format hockey championship. Earlier today, Team Finland’s squad was completed earlier today.

Team Finland – (* denotes named to the final roster today)

F Sebastian Aho*, – Karpat Oulu
F Aleksander Barkov – Florida Panthers
F Joonas Donskoi – San Jose Sharks
F Valtteri Filppula – Tampa Bay Lightning
F Mikael Granlund – Minnesota Wild
F Erik Haula* – Minnesota Wild
F Jussi Jokinen – Florida Panthers
F Mikko Koivu – Minnesota Wild
F Leo Komarov – Toronto Maple Leafs
F Lauri Korpikoski – Edmonton Oilers
F Patrik Laine* – Tappara Tampere
F Jori Lehtera – St. Louis Blues
F Teuvo Teravainen – Chicago Blackhawks

D Jyrki Jokipakka* – Calgary Flames
D Sami Lepisto* – Salavat Yulaev Ufa
D Esa Lindell – Dallas Stars
D Olli Maatta – Pittsburgh Penguins
D Ville Pokka* – Rockford IceHogs
D Rasmus Ristolainen – Buffalo Sabres
D Sami Vatanen – Anaheim Ducks

G Mikko Koskinen* – SKA St. Petersburg
G Tuukka Rask – Boston Bruins
G Pekka Rinne – Nashville Predators

In the forward group, the big news is top 2016 NHL Draft prospect Patrik Laine, who recently turned 18 on April 4, will continue his impressive season with a World Cup roster spot.  For a review on his campaign, he won gold at the World Junior Championship, Liiga Championship with Tappara, was named Liiga Playoff MVP, and notched a silver medal at the 2016 IIHF World Championship en route to being named that tournament’s MVP.  Carolina Hurricanes prospect Sebastian Aho, who was a teammate with Laine at the WJC and IIHF World Championship, is a mild surprise add, perhaps at the expense of Mikko Rantanen, but plays an overall excellent game both at wing and center.

The defensemen are a young group but skate well and excel at a quick transition game to get the puck back up ice and on the sticks of Finlands skilled forward group.  Defenseman Ville Pokka and goaltender Mikko Koskinen were steady players for Finland at the 2016 IIHF World Championships backstopping Suomi to a silver medal and likely parlayed those performances to World Cup roster spots.

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