Top 5 Blues Players at the World Championship in 2024

Top 5 Blues Players at the World Championship in 2024

The 2024 IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Championship will begin on May 10th. The St. Louis Blues have plenty of candidates for multiple teams, especially Team Canada. However, as the first day of the tournament approaches, other countries are also announcing their final squads. Here are the top five Blues players heading to Prague, Czech Republic to take part in the World Cup.

5. Matthew Kessel (USA)

After the first 15 players selected to Team USA revealed a roster full of elite NHL talent, this was unexpected. Matthew Kessel was a surprise, but it makes sense to have some young players at each position. He was one of the last nine players added to the 22-player lineup.

This will be Kessel’s first appearance in a major IIHF tournament, and he is the only Blues defenseman on Team USA. Despite playing less than half of the 2023-24 regular season and scoring just seven points, he finished in the top five in blocked shots (65) in 39 games.

This tournament should be a turning point for Kessel, who is coming off his first season in the NHL. Playing against the best players in the world should give him something to build on in the offseason.

4. Kevin Hayes (USA)

The only Blues forward added to Team USA is Kevin Hayes, who joins Kessel as a Final Nine signing. This will be Hayes’ third appearance at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship and his first since 2017, when he recorded four points in three games. He will be a veteran and will likely play on the midfield line.

Hayes played primarily on the second and third lines and finished the regular season with 29 points in 79 games. He can help on the power play if needed. However, given the depth of offensive talent on the roster, other forwards are likely to get more playing time on special teams than Hayes. Despite his poor offensive numbers, he was able to help the Blues in other ways.

Overall, Hayes is a great choice and will use his 6’5″ frame in front of goal. The only issue is that he tends not to score consistently. He’s not a shot-first player, he’s a team-first player, and teams will benefit from his ability to find the net and create offensive opportunities. He can also play both center and right side, and has won 57 percent of his matches this season, ranking third on the Blues.

3. Joel Hofer (Canada)

Joel Hofer was selected to Team Canada for the second year in a row. He finished last year with a 1-1-0 record, a save percentage (SV%) of .925, and a goals against average (GAA) of 1.46 in two games. In the past two IIHF tournaments, he has kept his save percentage above .920 and his goals against average under 1.50.

With the Blues, Hofer finished the season with a 15-12-1 record, a .914 SV%, a 2.65 GAA, and 30 shutouts. Hofer was under a lot of pressure this season, only performing poorly defensively, and had to deal with the eighth-most opponents in the league (32.1 games). Regardless of the team’s performance, he could be paired with Blues starting goalie Jordan Binnington next season.

With outstanding international success and a more talented group of defenders in front of him, we hope Hofer can win his third gold medal in three international tournament appearances.

2. Colton Parayko (Canada)

Colton Parayko will be representing Canada for the third time in this tournament. His last two appearances were in 2017 and 2018. In his last World Cup appearance, he scored eight goals in 10 games, making him the tournament’s top-scoring defender with four goals. In 2017, he was named to the World Cup All-Star Team, tied for the most goals by a defenseman with three goals (seven points in six games), and won a silver medal with Canada.

Parayko is one of the most reliable defenders in the international game, so his place in this team is no surprise. you look forward to another great tournament from him. Although he hasn’t played in an international tournament in the last six years, he has considerable experience in the NHL playoffs, including winning the 2019 Stanley Cup.

However, his defensive ability gave momentum to the batting lineup. He played in 82 games and had the league’s most blocks (218) and 115 hits. He also set a career high with 10 goals and 26 points. Overall, he’s a solid, determined defender who can protect in front of the net, and could partner with many of the other great defenders in the league in this tournament.

1. Jordan Binnington (Canada)

This is the first time in 12 years that Jordan Binnington has played in an IIHF tournament, most recently at the 2013 World Junior Championship, where Binnington could be a starter for Canada (he was a candidate to represent Canada in the Quad-Way Tournament). is also expected). his NHL Faceoff Tournament in February 2025).

Binnington’s numbers this season are decent. He appeared in 57 games and was a reliable starter for the Blues. He posted a 28-21-5 record, .913 SV%, 2.84 GAA, and three shutouts. He faced the fourth-most opponents (1,786) and had the fourth-most saves (1,630) in the league.

The addition of Binnington and Hofer to Team Canada will improve their chemistry for next season and give Binnington more international experience. If Binnington performs well at this event, he could be considered for more important international competitions, such as the 2026 Winter Olympics.

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