Ice Hockey World Championships 2015: Top ten star players

Sidney Crosby

In this post we list the top ten star players of the 2015 Ice Hockey World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic. We have one rule, though: Only one player per team is allowed! There are 16 teams in the tournament, thus 6 teams won’t be represented in our list. The criteria for being on the list is either having a long and succesful career or a brilliant future. There is no specific order of the players listed.

Top ten stars (country), motivation.

Filip Forsberg (Sweden)

Born 1994, did an excellent rookie season for Nashville predators this year with 63 points in 82 games, including a hat-trick in the play offs. He was upset with his performance in the first game of the World Championships against Czech Republic this year. Swedish coach Pär Mårts told the press “What did he expect? Luring the defense up on the stands and three goals?” Well, as we write this, Forsberg just did a hat-trick in Sweden’s second game, against Austria.. A winner, not unlike, but not related, to former Swedish superstar Peter Forsberg.

Sidney Crosby (Canada)

“Sid the kid” has a brilliant future AND a succesful career so far. Born in 1987, he has already won two Olympic gold medals with team Canada (2010 and 2014) and the IIHF World Junior Championships (2005). Pittsburgh Penguins drafted Crosby as number one overall in 2005. In 2008/90 he become the youngest team captain ever to win the Stanley Cup. In the 2010 olympics he was assisting captain and scored the decisive goal in overtime in the final against USA.

Jaromir Jagr (Czech Republic)

Czech Republic veteran forward, born in 1972, has already scored in two games in a row in the 2015 World Championships. He won olympic gold with his national team in Nagano 1998 together during a golden era for the country’s ice-hockey with superstars like Dominik Hasek. In the World Championship he has two gold medals, from 2005 and 2010. His only medal from the Junior World Championships was 25 years ago, a bronze in 1990. He played several seasons for Pittsburgh Penguins, winning Stanley Cup in 1991 and 1992. Currently he resides in Florida, playing for the panthers.

Mark Streit (Switzerland)

Switzerland is having a generation shift in their national team. Yet, we have chosen one of their veterans on this list. If Mathias Seger had played the 2015 World Championships, he would be another contender, with 16 straight WC-tournaments for his national team and a total of 106 games. Thereafter comes Martin Plüss with 83 games, but he turned down the national team this year. On third place is veteran defenseman Mark Streit, born in 1977. He has played three Olympic games and thirteen World Championships. Streit is the team captain for Switzerland, assisting captain for Philadelphia Flyers and was captain for the New York Islanders. In the 2007/08-season he did 62 points in 81 games.

Cristobal Huet (France)

The only goalkeeper on the list. 39-year-old France veteran Huet has had a long career both in the national team and in the NHL. He was second goaltender when Chicago Blackhawks won the 2010 Stanley Cup. Huet has also represented Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals. He is currently playing for Lausanne in the French league.

Rasmus Ristolainen (Finland)

Ristolainen is a young finish talent (born in 1994), drafted by Buffalo Sabres in the first round. He scored the decisive goal in the World Junior Championships 2014, giving Finland the gold. This year he did most points of all Sabre’s defensemen, 20 points in 78 games.

Jevgenij Malkin (Russia)

If we had not created the rule that allowed only one player per team on this list, more Russian (and Canadian!) players had probably made it. However, we had to choose. If Pavel Datsyuk had been in the team, we probably would have picked him. If Ilya Kovalchuk had won more titles and had a more even temperament, he had been a candidate. However, we picked Malkin. The 28-year-old Russian forward had won both the World Championships (2012 and 2014) and the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh Penguins. He is a heavy, skilled center that broke his contract with Magnitogorsk in 2006 to play in the NHL. He was awarded the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 2007.

Jack Eichel (USA)

Our pick from the young team USA that have sent a bunch of college players to this years World Championships. Eichel is expected to go as number two in this summer’s NHL draft. He is described as a talented forward. He was the captain for team USA in the World Juniors this year. Now, at the age of 18, he makes his senior national debut. He scored 71 points in 40 games in the NCAA this season.

Marian Gaborik (Slovakia)

Marian Gaborik is mainly known for his speed. He was the 3rd overall pick in the 2000 draft. He is currently playing in Los Angeles Kings. Last year he won Stanley Cup with the kings, his first big title. Gaborik has also played for Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets. In 2007 he scored 5 goals and made 1 assist in an NHL game.

Anze Kopitar (Slovenia)

Team Slovenia’s big star. He became the first Slovenian player to win Stanley Cup in 2012, with Los Angeles Kings. His second title came together with Marian Gaborik last year when Kings won again. Kopitar is an excellent all-round player with size, speed and good hands. He mixes a good eye for the game with creativity and densive qualities.

Candidates that fell on the goal-line:

Kaspars Daugavins

Tuomo Ruutu

Ilya Kovaltjuk

Andreij Kastitsyn

Loui Eriksson

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