The IIHF Men's World Ice Hockey Championships are often relegated to second-tier status here in North America, given that they coincide with the NHL Playoffs. As a result, it is often used by national federations as an opportunity to give younger, up-and-coming players the chance to represent their country and groom them for future Olympic teams(or, now, possibly for the new World Cup of Hockey).
That's the case this year, as Kevin Allen of USA Today reports that three players that played college hockey this past season will be on the roster for Team USA when they play at the upcoming World Championships next month.
Michigan's Dylan Larkin, Harvard's Jimmy Vesey, and Minnesota's Mike Reilly are all expected to be part of the roster. All three players were listed in the top 10 of our annual Top NHL Prospects in the NCAA. Vesey has already announced that he will be returning to Harvard next season, while Larkin is rumored to be leaning towards returning to Michigan. Reilly is expected to leave Minnesota at the end of the school year to become a free agent(which could make for an awkward situation with Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards expected to lead Team USA).
It should be valuable experience for all three players and speaks very highly of their future potential.
(H/t to our friends at Wingin' It in Motown on the story)