Towards the end of every hockey season, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) holds a tournament called the World Championships. It has become a consolation tournament for NHL players whose seasons ended at the conclusion of the regular season or in the first round of the playoffs. The 16 team tournament takes place in Denmark this year and begins on May 4th. Of the current Colorado Avalanche players, 13 of them have previously played in the IIHF World Championships for their respective countries. Semyon Varlamov won a gold medal for Russia in 2012. Tyson Barrie and Nathan MacKinnon won gold for Canada in 2015. And Carl Soderberg and Gabriel Landeskog won a gold for Sweden in 2017. Landeskog was also on the 2013 Sweden team that went home with the gold medal.
This year, only three Avalanche players will participate in the tournament. Sven Adrighetto will play for Switzerland for the second time, Mikko Rantanen will represent Finland for the third straight year, and Tyson Jost will make is first World Championships appearance for Team Canada.
Sven Andrighetto was born in Sumiswald, Switzerland and has represented his home country on multiple occasions throughout his career. He played in international tournaments for Switzerland at the U16, U17, U18 and U20 levels. He competed at the World Junior Championships for the Swiss team in 2011-12 and 2012-13. He totaled 10 points (6 goals, 4 assists) in 12 games throughout his World Junior career, helping Team Switzerland to an 8th place finish in 2012 and 6th place in 2013.
Andrighetto played in his first World Championships in 2016 while a member of the Montreal Canadiens. While Switzerland finished 11th that year, Andrighetto was a bright spot on the team, scoring 7 points (3 goals, 4 assists) in 7 games. Adrightetto hopes to build on that success for a Swiss team that enters this tournament as an underdog, with Mirco Muller of the New Jersey Devils and Nino Niederreiter of the Minnesota Wild as the only other current NHL players on the roster. Former Avalanche goalie Reto Berra is also playing for Switzerland in the tournament.
Born in Nousiainen, Finland, Mikko Rantanen has a long history of representing his home country as well, He also played in U16, U17, U18 and U20 tournaments. He was named team captain of Finland for the 2015-16 World Junior Championships and led them to a gold medal on home ice with the tournament being held in Helsinki, Finland. It was the country’s fourth gold medal at the World Juniors and the second time that they had won it on home ice, also winning the tournament at home in 1998.
This year will be Rantanen’s third consecutive year representing Finland at the World Championships. In 2017, he had 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in 10 games on the way to a 4th place finish. In 2016, Rantanen only contributed an assist in five games, while Team Finland ended up winning the silver medal.
Tyson Jost is heading over to Denmark to participate in his first World Championships, although he is no stranger to throwing on a Team Canada jersey. Born in St. Albert, Alberta, he was a member of the Canadian U18 team that took gold at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. In 2016, Jost captained Team Canada at the U18 World Championships to a 4th place finish in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The next year, he would participate in the World Juniors in his home country, scoring 4 points (goal, 3 assists) on his way to a silver medal. Jost hopes to take after Avalanche teammates MacKinnon and Barrie, who brought a gold medal to Canada in 2015.
The 2018 IIHF World Championships will kick off on Friday, May 4th. Games will be played at Royal Arena in Copenhagen and at Jyske Bank Boxen in Herning. Canada will play their first game against Team U.S.A. on May 4th at 8:15 a.m. (MST). Switzerland will play their first game against Austria on May 5th at 4:15 a.m. Finland will play their first game against Korea on May 5th at 8:15 a.m.