Frederik Andersen has expressed his desire to play for Denmark at this year’s IIHF World Championships, and barring any medical issues, it’s likely he will go:
“I want to play in the World Championships with the boys.”
The last time Andersen played for Denmark was in the Olympic qualification games prior to the World Cup of Hockey, just before he became a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was hurt in one of those games, and missed all of the World Cup as a result.
The World Championships is in Herning and Copenhagen this year, with team Denmark playing out of Herning, Andersen’s hometown. Denmark’s first game is on May 4, the opening day, against Germany.
On the same day, Canada plays the USA, also in Herning. The other Maple Leafs players who may be asked to join their national teams have not discussed their intentions yet, but there are a few other than Andersen.
Hockey Canada announced a roster already, but it has lots of open spaces on it. There are a few Leafs who might be asked to fill them.
Mitch Marner: He was overshadowed by the leaping William Nylander, but he played very well for Team Canada last year.
Patrick Marleau: I’d ask him and Marner and make them a line with some random centre. I’m not sure Marleau wants to extend his season in that way, however.
Morgan Rielly: He likely would have been asked, but after his injury in game seven of the playoffs, he might be well advised to say no.
UPDATE: the forgotten man has been named to the team, and shame on me for not mentioning that Team Canada had a spot open for a backup goalie.
Auston Matthews: We don’t really know his health status. Is he 100% or not? If he is, he may well want to get a rare chance to play for his country. But Chris Johnston reported today he is not expected to join Team USA.
Jake Gardiner: USA Hockey doesn’t seem to get Jake. I’d put him on the team, but they don’t seem so inclined.
James van Riemsdyk: USA Hockey would be silly not to ask, but his contract status will likely make him say no.
Nikita Zaitsev is expected to join the Russian national team ahead of the world championship — assuming he’s cleared from season-ending medicals by #leafs.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) April 27, 2018
By the way, Nikita Soshnikov is already on the team, and hasn’t yet been cut as other NHL players have been added.
Team Czech Republic
Tomas Plekanec: He usually answers the national team call, but he’s also without a contract and may sit this one out.
Leo Komarov: He officially retired from national team play.
Kasperi Kapanen: He might be asked, which would avoid the awkward situation of the Leafs trying to put an NHL player into the AHL playoffs and him feeling like those days are behind him.
Kasperi Kapanen will join Finland at the worlds rather than jumping on the Marlies playoff run.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) April 27, 2018
William Nylander: The most recent news quotes the Swedish coach as interested, but specifying that he hasn’t called yet. Nylander may be focusing on contract talks, and Tre Kronor is getting turned down a lot this year by players who won the gold last year, so Nylander may simply want the rest and the time to focus on next year.