Team North America doesn’t lack confidence entering the 2016 World Cup.
The newly minted 23 and under team features some heavy hitters among NHL youngsters. The stacked team includes Aaron Ekblad, Connor McDavid, Colton Parayko, Matt Murray, Jack Eichel, Johnny Gaudreau, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Auston Matthews among others.
With a roster so deep, some of the players are already making some cocky, yet awesome statements.
Ekblad spoke with Craig Custance of ESPN.com, admitting he’s confident in the team’s young roster.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) September 5, 2016
Ekblad isn’t wrong. The team is highly skilled and despite a relative lack of experience, they’re a very talented squad.
Nathan MacKinnon, meanwhile, also tooted the horn of team North America. He told Michael Traikos of the National Post he doesn’t believe there’s a more skilled roster than his.
North America's Nate MacKinnon throws down gauntlet: "I don't think there's a more skilled team than ours. I'll go against anybody's roster"
— Michael Traikos (@Michael_Traikos) September 5, 2016
MacKinnon isn’t making an outlandish claim, but let’s not forget team Canada, for example, is loaded with incredible players like John Tavares, Steven Stamkos, Claude Giroux, Carey Price and Drew Doughty. That group won’t be easy to take down.
It is nice to see some competitive remarks from team North America. They’re young and want to prove they’re the cream of the crop in the World Cup. It’s an admirable goal. We’ll see if they can put their money where their mouth is when the tournament begins September 17 in Toronto, Canada.