For the first time in his professional career, Cory Schneider will get to represent his country in a major international tournament. He has been named to the initial 16-man roster for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The tournament, which will feature the top six hockey-playing nations as well as a North American Under-23 team and an “all-star” team of Europeans from countries not represented in the tournament.
Cory will be joined in net by Los Angeles Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick and Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Ben Bishop.
The defense for Team USA will feature Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets, Colonia, New Jersey-raised John Carlson of the Washington Capitals (New Jersey native Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames also made Team North America’s initial roster of 16), Ryan McDonagh of the Rangers and Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild.
Up front, the US will boast Justin Abdelkader of the Detroit Red Wings, Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks, TJ Oshie of the Capitals, Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens, former-Devil captain Zach Parise of the Wild, Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks, Derek Stepan of the Rangers and Blake Wheeler of the Jets.
In addition to Cory making the squad, Devils’ head coach John Hynes will serve as an assistant on Team USA coach John Tortorella’s staff.
This will be the first time the tournament has been held in ten years. The US won the initial World Cup of Hockey back in 1996, defeating the Canadians on home ice (the final game was played in Montreal’s Molson Centre). Team USA has struggled at recent Olympics and other best-on-best international tournaments.
Cory will be the only player that the Devils are sending to the tournament as of right now, but he thoroughly earned the spot. Kings GM Dean Lombardi, who is serving in the same position for Team USA, could not have made a better choice as Schneider has emerged as one of the NHL’s top goaltenders. Cory is not an automatic to get the bulk of the playing time, as that will be decided in training camp closer to the September start of the tournament. He will face good competition from Quick and Bishop, both excellent goalies (and proven winners – as evidenced by Quick’s two Stanley Cups and Bishop’s appearance in last year’s Stanley Cup Finals) in the NHL.
While this is a huge honor for Schneider and extremely well-deserved, Devils fans will be holding their breath whenever he is in net, hoping he does not get hurt. On the plus side, though, by playing in meaningful games sooner, he should be ready to go once the NHL season kicks off in October.
The World Cup of Hockey 2016 will be played in Toronto from September 17 to October 1, 2016, with all games taking place at the Air Canada Centre. It is a joint effort by the NHL, the National Hockey League Players’ Association and the International Ice Hockey Federation. It will feature teams from Canada, the United States, Russia, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic as well as the Team North America Under-23 Team and Team Europe.
Congratulations to Cory Schneider on this great honor!