Connor McDavid has been named captain of Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey, the team announced ahead of Thursday’s pre-tournament game against Team Europe.
“On a team full of future NHL captains, we have a strong leadership group on Team North America,” Team North America head coach Todd McLellan said in a press release. “In particular, these three players — Connor, Sean and Aaron — have identified themselves in camp as key leaders for our team. They will be assisted by their teammates to ensure the full group is working together towards our goal of having success in the World Cup of Hockey.”
McDavid, 19, was drafted first overall in 2015 and has 16 goals and 48 career NHL points in 45 games. The Edmonton Oilers centreman was a finalist for the 2015-16 Calder Trophy despite his rookie season being cut short by injury.
Ekblad, 20, earned rookie of the year honours in 2014-15 after being selected No. 1 overall by the Florida Panthers and has been a steady presence on the club’s blue line while also contributing 27 goals and 75 points in 159 career NHL games.
Of the 23 players on the young team’s roster, Couturier has the most NHL experience, making him a suitable addition to the leadership team. The 23-year-old has registered 56 goals and 157 points in 350 NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers.