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Leo Komarov to play in World Championships

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It's official, Leo Komarov is on the final roster for Team Finland heading into the IIHF World Championships in Russia this week. But, first he has to get by Auston Matthews.

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At the end of the NHL season, Leo Komarov missed some time due to injury, but he did play in the last game of the season for the Maple Leafs. He told reporters then that he wanted to play for Finland at the World Championships, but it wasn't set yet.

Now we are sure. Finland has released their roster for the tournament a little earlier than most teams, and intriguingly, they have not left any openings for other players. Other teams often wait until the last minute in case someone knocked out of the NHL playoffs can join the team.

Just a reminder, and you're forgiven for getting it confused, the IIHF World Championships start on Friday, May 6 in Russia. The World Cup is in September in Toronto. It's the one with the funny new teams from more than one country. Komarov is already on the roster for that tournament too.

Also on Team Finland's roster for the World Championships is expected Winnipeg Jets draft pick Patrik Laine, AHL rookie of the year Mikko Rantanen, and a host of NHL stars including Aleksander Barkov and Mikko Koivu.

The goaltenders are an interesting trio: the 21 year old Nashville Predators prospect Juuse Saros, the 38 year old Calgary Flame Niklas Bäckström, and the 27 year old SKA St. Petersburg star Mikko Koskinen, who was the top goalie in the KHL playoffs. Bäckström looked very sharp in a pre-season game vs. Russia. As did the always-energetic Komarov.

Finland opens the tournament against Belarus on Friday, but you can catch Komarov in action against Auston Matthews on Tuesday, May 3 at 11:30am Toronto time in a pre-tournament friendly from Helsinki. We'll post official details on where and how to stream when we have them.

One other note: if you've missed the Komarov moustache, it's back in all its glory.

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