1. Dylan Larkin – GP:5 | G:1 | A:2 | P:3
Serving as an assistant captain for the third IIHF Tournament in a row under Head Coach Jeff Blashill, Larkin looks to help bring Team USA a gold medal after settling for bronze in the 2018 IIHF Worlds. Along with Larkin, coaches’ Jeff Blashill, and Dan Bylsma return as well along with Luke Glendening.
As the second line center alongside DeBrincat, and Captain Patrick Kane, Larkin is expected to contribute offensively as well as continue to build upon his strong two-way game. Speaking of contributing offensively, have I mentioned Larkin scored the GWG against Finland? Well, Larkin scored a pretty goal after casually skating by two Finnish defencemen, shooting right under Vehvillainen’s blocker. As the tournament dwindles down, Larkin will be heavily counted on if Blashill and company want to compete for a gold medal this time around.
2. Luke Glendening – GP:5 | G:0 | A:3 | P:3
Joining teammate Larkin, Glendening will be serving as the teams’ fourth line center. If there is one thing Blashill is exceptional at; it’s playing players to their strengths. Glendening is the perfect fourth line center. A smart penalty killer, Glendening will play any style necessary to win the game.
With 3 assists across five games, Glendening isn’t known for his offensive capabilities but occasionally chips in when needed. As one of the favorites heading into this year’s tournament, look for Glendening to be relied upon to play against other team’s top-line centers. This is something Blashill has done in the past with Glendening, and rightfully so. He has the ability to forecheck hard and create turnovers with his blend of physicality, and never-ending motor. Glendening was a great addition to this year’s Team USA roster.