It’s always a real shame when the cutthroat nature of tournaments like the Winter Olympics or the World Championships prevents national teams from taking a chance on top-end rookie talent. Thankfully, the NHL is thinking two steps ahead, both to eliminate this problem and to market its young stars. Today, they announced the roster of Team North America, and unsurprisingly, Dylan Larkin was added to the grocery list of Red Wings to be invited to the tournament.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 2, 2016
With every player on the roster being no older than 23, Team North America will be one of the more interesting lineups in the tournament. Larkin has obviously not represented this made-up International Organization before; he wasn’t even four years old when the “North America vs. The World” format was brought to the All-Star Game back in 2000.
With that said, he’s had a couple of moments in international hockey with Team USA. Beyond being a number of the US National Development Program for two seasons, Larkin played in the U17 and U18 World Hockey Championships, and the 2015 World Juniors before making his adult debut in the 2015 World Championships.
Despite being 19, Larkin already has three international medals; a U17 Bronze from 2013, a U18 Gold from 2014, and a Men’s Bronze from 2015. If it turns out that he’s been the good luck charm for all of his teams, then we might see the young guns go pretty far against those merely representing their country.
Larkin joins Pavel Datsyuk, Petr Mrazek, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, and Tomas Tatar in being invited to play in the World Cup. This year’s tournament begins on September 17th and will end on October 1st. All games will be played at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.