With both the Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota Wild getting eliminated this week from the NHL playoffs, Alex Galchenyuk has joined Team USA, Tomas Plekanec is signed up with the Czech’s and Mikael Granlund will join Finland for the remaining games of the World Hockey Championships.
Plekanec played in three junior international tournaments with the Czech Republic. He was named to the under-18 team at the 2000 IIHF World U18 Championships, where he contributed 2 points in 6 games. He then helped the Czechs to a gold medal at the 2001 World Junior Championships with 2 points in 7 games. He made his second consecutive World Junior appearance in 2002 and improved to 7 points in 7 games. After his first NHL season, Plekanec competed in the 2006 World Championships, where the Czech Republic captured a silver medal in Latvia. Plekanec scored the Czech’s first goal in the semi-final, helping the team defeat Finland 3–1. He went on to make his second and third consecutive World Championships appearances in 2007 and 2008, as well as getting his first Olympics appearance in 2010. He was a member of the bronze medal Czech team at the 2011 World Championships.
Gally won a gold medal with the U.S. at the U20 World Championship earlier this year while a member of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting. In 48 NHL games in his rookie season he scored nine goals and had 18 assists. He also played in five playoff games, recording one goal and two assists. His dad, Alex Sr., was selected to represent the Soviet Union at the 1987 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships where he played 13 games and scored 5 points before the Soviet team was disqualified from the tournament following an on-ice brawl with the Canadian Team. He was also selected to play with the senior Soviet Union team that competed for the 1991 Canada Cup. He would also play for Belarus at multiple national hockey events later in his career.
Granlund, member of the 2011 team that won gold, will play in his third consecutive World Championship. In 19 WC games, he has totaled three goals and eleven points, including a highlight reel lacrosse goal against Russia in 2011. He has played with the Finnish national junior team at both the Under-18 and Under-20 World Championships in 2009 and 2010. At the 2010 U18 Championship, Granlund recorded the most assists in the tournament with nine, and his total thirteen points was the third best in the tournament, as he helped Finland win its second consecutive bronze medal. At the 2010 World Junior Championship, he was Finland’s top scorer with seven points as the team finished fifth overall. He played 27 NHL games (2 goals, 6 assists) and 34 AHL games (11 goals, 20 assists) this season, split between the Minnesota Wild and Houston Aeros.
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