Islanders teammates Frans Nielsen and Jaroslav Halak have been named to Team Europe for the World Cup of Hockey, as chosen by general manager (and former Islander) Miroslav Satan.
The rest of the roster consists of players from seven countries, including Slovakia (Halak, Zdeno Chara, Marian Hossa), Switzerland (Mark Streit, Roman Josi), Denmark (Nielsen, Mikkel Boedker) and Germany (Leon Draisaitl, Dennis Seidenberg). Thomas Vanek (Austria) and Mats Zuccarello (Norway via Middle Earth) also made the cut.
Nielsen, drafted by the Islanders in the third round of the 2002 draft, has spent his entire 10-year career with the Islanders. A UFA at the end of this season, Nielsen has 18 goals and is regarded as one of the better defensive centers in the NHL. He's also, "just the nicest guy," according to teammate Calvin de Haan during the Isles Q&A video shown during last night's game against the Canucks (no, seriously).
Halak is in his second season with the Islanders after spending time with Montreal, St. Louis and Washington. He set a franchise record with 38 wins last year, and is 16-13-4 with a .919 save percentage this season.
As with the other World Cup teams, more players will be added to the roster, which currently only has 16 players.
Halak and Denmark's Frederik Andersen were the only two goalies named to Team Europe today, and one might wonder if the Islanders' other goalie, Germany's Thomas Greiss, could have a shot at a later spot. Greiss currently leads the NHL with a .931 save percentage, and he's 17-6-3 for the Islanders this season. Not bad for a back-up.
Islanders forward Mikhail Grabovski of Belarus didn't make the cut but, again, maybe he will at some point.
No matter's who's on what team, for God's sake, please don't get hurt.
Team Europe's uniforms feature a crest that looks like a medieval shield made from a big "E" with a hockey stick in the middle and a purple and blue color scheme. You know you want one.
Here's a look at what Team Europe will be wearing at the World Cup of Hockey. #WCH2016 https://t.co/t9ifQVeUEfhttps://t.co/5bsuUDGkO9— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 2, 2016
Team Canada and Team USA will be announced later today.