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Nathan MacKinnon Makes 2016 World Cup's Team North America

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Colorado's 20-year old center makes the Team North America roster for 'up-and-coming' players under 23.

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

When this year's World Cup of Hockey was announced last September, the most intriguing aspect was the 23-and-under team that would be comprised of the NHL's rising stars. No longer would these international events be only for established veterans, relegating dozens of young worthy players to wait their turn for future events. Now they could team up against juggernauts like Team Canada, Sweden, and Russia and round out the tournament field.

Colorado Avalanche forward, 20-year old Nathan MacKinnon, was thought to be a prime candidate for consideration. After winning the Calder Trophy in 2013-14, he is now second on the team in scoring and tied for 31st in the NHL with 20 goals and 48 points. Would he have cracked the roster this year for his native Canada? Not likely, but he should comfortably occupy a Top-6 forward spot on U23 Team North America.

On Wednesday afternoon, MacKinnon was officially announced as part of the roster along with other rising names such as: Connor McDavid, Dylan Larkin, Johnny Gaudreau, Seth Jones, and Jack Eichel.

Team North America will play under this ominous logo, which I presume must be an homage to some sort of Orwellian totalitarian state:

Team North America