Larkin, Glendening on Team USA; Jets' Connor shines in playoffs
Red Wings Dylan Larkin and Luke Glendening were among 17 players selected to the United States team that will compete at the World Championship May 10-26 in Kosice and Bratislava, Slovakia.
Larkin, who turns 23 on July 30, has seven goals and 22 assists in 38 World Championship games. He led Detroit in goals (32), assists (41) and points (73) this season.
Glendening was named to the team last year but did not play because of an ankle injury. This season with Detroit he had 10 goals and 13 assists in 78 games.
Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard and defenseman Danny DeKeyser also were invited to join the team but declined.
The team’s coach is Detroit mentor Jeff Blashill, who will serve in that capacity for the third consecutive year. He led Team USA to a bronze medal last year.
Other players on the team with local connections are Chicago Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat (Farmington Hills), former Michigan defenseman and current Canuck Quinn Hughes and Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez (Rochester Hills). Goalie Cayden Primeau is the son of former Red Wing Keith Primeau.
The other members of the team announced are: Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel, Chicago Blackhawks forward and U.S. captain Patrick Kane, Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller, New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider, Philadelphia Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk, Florida Panthers center Frank Vatrano, Ottawa Senator Colin White, New York Rangers defenseman Brady Skjei, Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter, Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko and New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider.
USA Hockey will announce additions to its roster as players are confirmed. The International Ice Hockey Federation allows each national team to have up to 25 players — 22 skaters and three goaltenders.
A year makes all the difference for Connor
Winnipeg Jets forward Kyle Connor of Clinton Township and the University of Michigan, has three goals and two assists in the first five games of this year’s playoffs after scoring three goals in 17 games last season, after his rookie campaign.
“I thought I learned a lot from that playoff run last year, just the way you mentally prepare for each game,” Connor said on www.sportsnet.ca. “So, yeah, (this year) is a bit different.
“It’s such an emotional game every single game. Win one game, and it feels like you’re winning the Cup, and vice-versa if you lose one. It’s about kind of managing those emotions and expectations.”
Connor scored 34 goals during the regular season after scoring 31 in 2017-18 as a rookie.
“It was definitely something I’d never come across before,” Connor said. “I’d played playoff hockey, but it’s a different animal when you get to the Stanley Cup playoffs. As a team, we had a lot of guys in that situation. It was a great experience.”
But he couldn’t manage a point on Thursday night when the Jets blew an early third-period 2-0 lead. They went on to lose 3-2 to the St. Louis Blues on Jaden Schwartz’s goal with 15 seconds left. The win put the Blues up three games to two in the Western Conference first-round series.
Lockwood gets U-M “C” for 2019-20
The University of Michigan announced that senior Will Lockwood will be the team’s captain next season.
The Bloomfield Hills native is the 100th captain in Wolverines hockey history.
Senior forward Jake Slaker and senior defensemen Luke Martin and Griffin Luce will be the alternate captains.