When the puck drops on the 2014 IIHF World Championship Friday in Belarus, more than half of the participating nations will feature former college hockey players on their roster as they pursue gold.
That group of 44 players with NCAA ties includes representatives of 27 schools playing for nine countries. Twenty of the 44 will represent Team USA, which begins play Friday against the host country and will have all of its games broadcast and streamed live by NBC Sports Network in the U.S.
Belarus, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Latvia and Sweden join the U.S. with college representation, meaning that nine of the 16 teams in the tournament feature NCAA players. UMass Lowell and Wisconsin lead all schools with four representatives each, while Boston College and Cornell both have three.
Six players in the tournament played NCAA hockey this season, all on either Belarus or the United States. The Belarus roster features Kirill Gotovets (Cornell) and Oleg Yevenko (Massachusetts); Yevenko, a junior this year, is the only player in the tournament with NCAA eligibility remaining. Johnny Gaudreau (Boston College), Kevin Hayes (Boston College), Connor Hellebuyck (UMass Lowell) and Jake McCabe (Wisconsin) were all named to Team USA after playing college hockey this year.
In addition to the players, the U.S. and Canada are both coached by former college hockey players - Peter Laviolette (Westfield State) and Dave Tippett (North Dakota), respectively.
Former College Players
|Kevin Bieksa||Bowling Green|
|Jason Garrison||Minnesota Duluth|
|Matt Read||Bemidji State|
|Olivier Lauridsen||St. Cloud State|
|Baptiste Amar||UMass Lowell|
|Stephane da Costa||Merrimack|
|Laurent Meunier||UMass Lowell|
|Yorick Treille||UMass Lowell|
|Daniel Bellissimo||Western Michigan|
|Nate di Casmirro||St. Cloud State|
|Jekabs Redlihs||Boston University|
|Erik Gustafsson||Northern Michigan|
|Justin Abdelkader||Michigan State|
|Danny DeKeyser||Western Michigan|
|Johnny Gaudreau||Boston College|
|Jimmy Hayes||Boston College|
|Kevin Hayes||Boston College|
|Connor Hellebuyck||UMass Lowell|
|Brock Nelson||North Dakota|
|Jeff Petry||Michigan State|
|Tim Stapleton||Minnesota Duluth|
* Lone player with eligibility remaining; will be a senior in the fall