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Ryan O’Reilly Named Alternate Captain for World Championships

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Casey Mittelstadt, nursing an injured groin, left off US roster.

Hockey: World Cup of Hockey-Final-Team Canada vs Team Europe Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

As the NHL continues its playoffs, other hockey players are heading overseas for the upcoming IIHF World Championships, which begin Friday. This year’s tournament is being held in Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark.

The Buffalo Sabres will have a few representatives at the tournament.

Ryan O’Reilly will play for Canada. He’ll also wear an A on his jersey, along with Brayden Schenn. Connor McDavid will captain the team.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Aaron Ekblad and Colton Parayko are among the other notable names on the team. Curtis McElhinney, Darcy Kuemper and Michael DiPietro (Canucks prospect) are the goaltenders for Canada.

This will be O’Reilly’s sixth World Championships playing for Canada. He has twice won gold, and also added a silver medal last year.

Johan Larsson will also suit up for Sweden, alongside fellow NHLers like Anders Nilsson, Adam Larsson, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Mike Zibanejad.

This will be Larsson’s second time playing in the World Championships and first since 2012.

Meanwhile, Sabres fans were puzzled when USA Hockey released their roster, sans Casey Mittelstadt. As it turns out, Mittelstadt - who said at the season’s end he was looking forward to playing in Worlds - has a groin injury.

Jack Eichel will also not play for Team USA, opting to allow his ankle to heal further.

O’Reilly and Team Canada open their World Championships bid on Friday, May 4 against the USA. Larsson and Team Sweden face Belarus the same day.