Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, center Evgeny Kuznetsov, and defenseman Dmitry Orlov will represent Russia at the IIHF World Championships while forwards Jakub Vrana and Dmitrij Jaskin will do the same for the Czech Republic. The tournament will start on Friday, May 10 and run through Sunday, May 26.
Center Nicklas Backstrom (injury), forward Andre Burakovsky (injury), and forward Carl Hagelin (pending unrestricted free agent) were all invited by Team Sweden but none will attend.
From The Caps
Alex Ovechkin (Russia), Evgeny Kuznetsov (Russia), Dmitry Orlov (Russia), Jakub Vrana (Czech Republic) and Dmitrij Jaskin (Czech Republic) will represent their respective country at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Bratislava and Košice, Slovakia.
Ovechkin, 33, will be making his 13th World Championship appearance. The Moscow native has registered 61 points (33g, 27a) in 73 career games at the World Championship and captured a gold medal with Russia in 2008, 2012 and 2014. Ovechkin was named to the tournament’s Media All-Star Team in 2006 and 2008, won a silver medal in 2010 and a bronze medal in 2005, 2007 and 2016. Ovechkin has represented Russia in three Olympics (2006, 2010, 2014), 12 World Championships (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), three World Junior Championships (2003, 2004, 2005) and two World Cups of Hockey (2004, 2016).
Ovechkin scored 51 goals this season to capture his second consecutive and eighth career Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s leading goal-scorer. The 6’3”, 235-pound left wing became the first player in NHL history to top the League in goals eight times, breaking a tie with Bobby Hull (7x). Ovechkin recorded two goals against the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 30, marking his 132nd multi-goal game to reach the 50-goal mark. Ovechkin became the third player in NHL history to record eight or more 50-goal seasons (Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky: 9) and was the first player to 50 goals this season and for the seventh time in his NHL career; the only other players in NHL history who were the first to reach the 50-goal mark in a season four or more times are Phil Esposito (5), Bobby Hull (4) and Gretzky (4). Ovechkin became the fifth player in NHL history to record multiple 50-goal seasons after his 30th birthday, joining Esposito (4), Hull (2), Marcel Dionne (2) and Mario Lemieux (2). Overall, Ovechkin, at 33 and 194 days old at the time of his 50th goal, became the third-oldest player in NHL history to record a 50-goal season (Johnny Bucyk: 35 years, 308 days old, 1970-71; Jaromir Jagr: 34 years, 37 days old, 2005-06). With the two-goal outing against Tampa, Ovechkin passed Brendan Shanahan for 13th on the NHL’s all-time goals list, while his power-play goal passed Esposito and tied Luc Robitaille (247ppg) for fourth place on the NHL’s all-time power-play goals list. With 1,211 career points (658g, 553a), Ovechkin is the all-time leader in points by a Russian-born player.
Kuznetsov, 26, has represented Russia at five World Championships (2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017), two World Junior Championships (2011, 2012) and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The Chelyabinsk, Russia, native recorded 72 points (21g, 51a) in 76 games with Washington this season. The 6’2”, 204-pound center’s 0.95 points per game rate ranked second on the Capitals (Ovechkin: 1.10). Additionally, Kuznetsov’s 0.67 assists per game this season ranked second on the team and tied for 16th among forwards in the NHL among players with at least 70 games played this season. With 337 career points (101g, 236a), Kuznetsov became the eighth player to debut with the Capitals franchise and record his 300th point in 375 career games or fewer with the club, a list that includes current teammates Ovechkin (237 games) and Nicklas Backstrom (293 games), and the 25th player in franchise history to reach the mark.
Orlov, 27, has represented Russia at three World Championships (2014, 2016, 2017), two World Junior Championships (2010, 2011) and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The Novokuznetsk, Russia, native tallied 29 points (3g, 26a) in 82 games. The 5’11”, 211-pound defenseman has participated in all 82 games in four straight seasons, and his active 346 consecutive games played streak ranks fourth among active NHL defensemen.
Vrana, 23, will represent the Czech Republic at World Championships for the first time in his career. The Prague native has represented the Czech Republic at three World Junior Championships (2013, 2014, 2015), recording six points (3g, 3a) in 16 games. The 6’0”, 199-pound wing recorded 47 points (24g, 23a) in 82 games, setting career highs in goals, assists and points. Vrana was on the ice for 59 goals and just 37 against, the best differential among Capitals’ forwards this season.
Jaskin, 26, will represent the Czech Republic at World Championships for the first time in his career. The 6’2”, 216-pound wing has represented the Czech Republic at two World Junior Championships (2012, 2013), and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Jaskin appeared in 37 games for the Capitals this season, recording eight points (2g, 6a).
By Harrison Brown