For the second consecutive year, Patrick Kane will serve as captain of the U.S. National Team at the IIHF Men’s World Championship. The Tournament is set for May 10-26 and will be played in Kosice and Bratislava, Slovakia. The rest of Team USA’s 2019 preliminary roster is expected to be named later this week.
It’s only right for Kane to be named captain after the dominant season he just completed. The Buffalo, N.Y. native posted a career high in assists (66) and points (110) in his 12th NHL season. He also had 11 more points than the next American, Johnny Gaudreau. Kane will likely not win the Hart Trophy for league’s most valuable player, but he is more than deserving after carrying the Blackhawks for months.
Patrick Kane has been successful while representing the United States on multiple occasions in his career. When Kane was captain of the U.S. Men’s National Team at the IIHF World Championships last year, he was named MVP after recording a tournament-high 20 points in 10 games. He also led Team USA to a bronze medal after defeating Canada 4-1 in the third-place game. He previously won a gold medal with the U.S at the 2006 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship in Sweden, where he was also the tournament’s leading scorer. Kane won a silver medal back at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver as well. Patrick Kane’s NHL resume includes three Stanley Cup championships, a Conn Smyth Trophy in 2013, a Hart Memorial Trophy in 2016, and three Ted Lindsay Awards. All in all, Kane is a smart choice to lead the United States in the 2019 IIHF Men’s World Championship.
Alex DeBrincat sounds likely to join Team USA’s preliminary roster at this point. Connor Murphy was on the team last year, and Brandon Saad has shown some interest as well. It will be interesting to see if any of Patrick Kane’s Blackhawks teammates join him and Team USA at the 2019 IIHF Men’s World Championship in May.