The World Hockey Championships get underway on Friday and some Vancouver Canucks players and prospects will be heading to the tournament. This year’s tournament will be held in Helsinki Finland.
Over the years, numerous Canucks players have represented their countries at the World Championships. There will be two from the main roster and two prospects this year.
Canada will look to defend their title this year and they will look for their 28th gold medal. Unfortunately, there are no Canucks that will be on Team Canada this year.
You can watch the tournament on TSN. The tournament runs until May 29.
Here are the Canucks players and prospects heading to Helsinki for the World Championship.
Sweden: Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Linus Karlsson
Oliver Ekman-Larsson had a decent first year in Vancouver.
He wore the “A” on his jersey as an alternate captain and tallied five goals and 24 assists for 29 points in 79 games. The 30-year-old was also good defensively for most of the year.
Ekman-Larsson will represent the Tre Kronor at the World Championships for the seventh time in his career. He and Team Sweden won Bronze in 2010, silver in 2011, finished fifth in 2015, and won gold in 2017 and 2018. OEL was the captain of Sweden at the 2019 tournament in Slovakia and they finished fifth.
He has also won bronze at the 2010 World Junior Championships, silver at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia and bronze at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
OEL will join a Swedish defensive corps that will include the likes of Rasmus Dahlin and Adam Larsson. We should expect him to play some top minutes.
Canucks prospect Linus Karlsson will also play for Sweden at the World Championships.
The 22-year-old has had a remarkable season with Skellefteå AIK in the SHL. Karlsson scores 26 goals and 20 assists for 46 points in 52 games. Karlsson also broke the SHL rookie goal-scoring record which was previously held by Elias Pettersson in 2017-18 when he scored 24 with the Växjö Lakers.
This will be the first time Karlsson will represent Sweden at the professional level and it will be interesting to see if he can translate his SHL play to the international level.
The Canucks also have until June 1 to sign him to an entry-level contract.
Finland: Juho Lammikko
Juho Lammikko was acquired by the Canucks back in September along with Noah Juulsen for Olli Juolevi.
Like the rest of the team, he struggled early but his form changed after Bruce Boudreau took over behind the bench. He scored seven goals and managed eight assists for 15 points in 75 games in a fourth-line role. Lammikko enjoyed chemistry with Matthew Highmore and Tyler Motte but slowed down offensively after Motte was traded to the New York Rangers at the deadline.
Lammikko and Team Finland will try to go for gold on home soil. He represented the Finns at the 2019 World Championships where he had no points in seven games as Finland won gold in Slovakia. Lammikko was also part of the Finland team that won the World Juniors in 2016 in Helsinki.
Latvia: Arturs Silovs
The Canucks drafted Arturs Silovs in the sixth round of the 2019 draft.
Silovs struggled with the AHL’s Abbotsford Canucks this past season posting a 3-6-0 record and a 3.10 goals-against average and a save percentage of .888. The numbers got better when he was loaned to the Trois-Rivières Lions of the ECHL. He posted a record of 6-3-1 got a .920 sv% and a 2.37 GAA.
There are still lots of improvements Silovs has to work on but he still has potential.
Elvis Merzļikins will be Latvia’s starter and Silovs will likely be the backup or the third-stringer behind Gustavs Davis Grigals.
Let us know in the comments which Canucks you will be watching at the World Championships.