Dec 14, 2012, 3:39 PM EDT
Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has been named captain of the Canadian team set to compete for gold at the 2013 World Junior tournament in Ufa, Russia.
The announcement wasn’t surprising — Nugent-Hopkins is the most experienced NHLer on the squad — but his selection does make for a unique story.
RNH will captain Team Canada despite having never represented his country at the World Junior level before — he was cut from Canada’s junior team as a 17-year-old in 2011 and wasn’t made available by the Oilers for the 2012 team.
That’s a far cry from what’s transpired for Team Canada at previous tournaments. Last year’s captain, Jaden Schwartz, participated in the 2011 tourney. The 2011 captain, Ryan Ellis, was an alternate in 2010. The 2010 captain, Patrice Cormier, played on the 2009 squad.
You get the picture.
As for the remainder of Team Canada’s roster, Florida Panthers prospect Jonathan Huberdeau and Pittsburgh draftee Scott Harrington were named as alternate captains.
It’s very possible one of the two could ascend to take the “C” should Nugent-Hopkins not make it through the tournament — Canadian coach Steve Spott said there were no guarantees RNH would remain with the team if the NHL lockout is resolved between now and the tournament’s conclusion (Jan. 5).
That said, Spott did pass along word that Edmonton was “fully supportive” of the decision to name Nugent-Hopkins captain.
- Playoffs tonight: Detroit and San Jose look to change things up 0
- Bruins’ Hamilton: ‘I don’t feel like a rookie anymore’ 8
- Penguins’ Murray: ‘We need to be better’ 3
- Senators’ coach MacLean: Karlsson ‘wasn’t one of the best players’ 4
- Discuss: Penguins defeat Senators in Game 2; lead series 2-0 36
- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators 84
- Torres won’t appeal suspension, Sharks call punishment ‘grossly unfair’ 9
- Flyers owner Snider: ‘I didn’t pick Bryz’ 60
- Sens’ MacLean, Ducks’ Boudreau, Hawks’ Quenneville are Jack Adams finalists 23
- Playoffs Tonight: ‘Pesky’ Sens fight to even series vs Pens 18
- Alex ‘they wanted Game 7′ Ovechkin to address media today before heading to Worlds (110)
- Discuss: Penguins knock Islanders out of playoffs (99)
- Question for commenters: What’s the hardest team to support? (93)
- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators (84)
- Capitals discuss ‘lopsided’ penalty calls (82)
- Swimmer Phelps denies comeback rumors
- PHT: Crosby's hat trick powers Penguins past Senators
- PFT: Jets' Goodson gets five gun and drug charges
- PFT: Gronk taking pre-surgery rip through Vegas
- PFT: Seahawks' Irvin suspended for violating PED policy
- Orb favored to take Preakness, set up Triple try
- What to watch for at the Preakness