NEW YORK – Joe Thornton, whose 20-year wait to reach the Stanley Cup Final ends Monday, was among four NHL finalists selected Friday to complete rosters for the World Cup of Hockey.
Joe Thornton, #19 of the San Jose Sharks, was chosen for Team Canada for the World Cup of Hockey
The 36-year-old San Jose Sharks center, whose Cup final wait through 1,367 regular-season games and another 150 playoff contests is the third-longest among active players, was chosen for Team Canada along with teammate Brent Burns, a defenseman.
The Sharks will visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday to begin the NHL’s best-of-seven championship series.
Sweden selected Pittsburgh forwards Carl Hagelin and Patric Hornqvist for their lineup for next September’s eight-team showdown in Toronto ahead of Friday’s deadline for final 23-man roster selections.
Finland, Sweden, Russia, Canada, the Czech Republic, the United States, a European all-star squad and an under-23 North American squad will compete from September 17 to October 1.
Auston Matthews, an 18-year-old American center who plays for the Zurich Lions and is expected to be the top pick in next month’s NHL Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, was picked for the North American under-23 side as each team added seven final players.
In all, 173 of 184 selections were from NHL clubs, with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks leading all NHL teams with 12 selections each. The Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals each had eight chosen.
Pittsburgh also supplied Sidney Crosby, who scored the gold medal-winning goal for Canada in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics to his homeland team, forward Evgeni Malkin to Russia and goaltender Matt Murray to the North American squad.
“Selecting the second group of players was more difficult than anticipated,” North America general manager Peter Chiarelli said. “We had a couple of the younger guys surge in the last segment. We wanted to ensure we had experience but at the same time, we also had to maintain our speed.”
Among those named to the Europe all-star squad were Slovakian forward Marian Gaborik of the Los Angeles Kings and French forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare of Philadelphia.