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Blackhawks at 2021 World Championship: Patrick Kane Won’t Play for Team USA

Dominik Kubalik and four others are confirmed to participate in the international tournament in Latvia.

Patrick Kane IIHF World Championships
Photo: CRoumeliotis/Twitter

Patrick Kane said Tuesday he will play for the men’s United States national team at the IIHF World Championship. Instead, he plans to spend time with his son, Patrick Kane III, and rest.

The 32-year-old forward led the Chicago Blackhawks in points (66) and assists (51) during the 56-game shortened 2021 season. He put up those numbers despite playing with an undisclosed injury, which he said will get “fixed” this offseason.

Kane scored 42 points (25 goals, 13 assists) in 25 games over the past three Worlds tournaments, serving as captain in 2018 and 2019. The IIHF canceled the 2020 tournament because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 World Championship tournament will be May 21 to June 6 in Latvia.

Kane isn’t the only Blackhawks player to turn down the opportunity. Pius Suter said on May 6 that he will not play for Switzerland because he is a restricted free agent and not under contract for the 2021-22 season. The rookie forward scored 14 goals and 27 points in 55 games this season.

Who’s Going

Forwards Brandon Hagel (Canada), Dominik Kubalik (Czech Republic), and defenseman Nikita Zadorov (Russia) confirmed Tuesday that they will compete for their countries.

Hagel, who scored 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) in 52 games during his rookie season, will make his first appearance for Canada. Kubalik, however, is no stranger to senior-level competition internationally. He played at the 2018 Winter Olympics and the 2018 and 2019 Worlds. Zadorov also played at the 2019 Worlds.

Forward Max Shalunov will join Zadorov on Russia’s team. The Blackhawks selected Shalunov in the fourth round (No. 109 overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft and still hold his rights. The 28-year-old scored 35 points (18 goals, 17 assists) in 52 regular-season games and 18 points, with a KHL-high 12 goals, in 22 playoff games for CSKA Moscow. His KHL contract is up and he wants to sign with Chicago.

“He’s a big shot, he scores lots of goals,” Zadorov said of Shalunov. “He has a really good shot.”

Rookies Philipp Kurashev (Switzerland), a forward, and Nicolas Beaudin (Canada), a defenseman, were added to their team’s roster Wednesday.

Kurashev, like Hagel, remained with the Blackhawks throughout his rookie season and scored 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in 54 games. He had four points (one goal, three assists) in eight games at the 2019 Worlds. Beaudin split the season between the NHL and AHL, with 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in nine AHL games and six points (two goals, four assists) in 19 NHL games.

Blackhawks’ 2020 first-round draft pick Lukas Reichel (Germany) will also be at Worlds. The 18-year-old forward scored 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) in 38 regular-season games and five points (two goals, three assists) in nine playoff games for Eisbären Berlin, who won the DEL, Germany’s top division. Worlds will be his first senior-level international tournament.

Forward Brandon Pirri, who played in Chicago’s season opener but then played in the AHL, will be with Canada.


Forward Alex DeBrincat (USA) also talked with the media but was not asked if he will play at Worlds. DeBrincat bounced back from his 45-point season (18 goals, 27 assists) during the 2019-20 campaign, with 56 points and a team-high 32 goals in 52 games this season. He scored 18 points (eight goals, ten assists) in 18 games the past two Worlds.

Defenseman Connor Murphy (USA) could join DeBrincat. Murphy was a fixture for Team USA at Worlds from 2014-18 but did not play in 2019.

Forward David Kampf and defenseman prospect Jakub Galvas (Czech Republic) are almost candidates. Kampf has slowly developed into a reliable fourth-line NHL player, and Galvas signed with the Blackhawks on May 6. Neither player has participated at Worlds, but Galvas is with the team for the Czech Hockey Games.

Goaltender Kevin Lankinen (Finland) became the talk of the hockey world during the 2019 Worlds with a 1.50 goals-against average and .942 save percentage en route to a gold medal.

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Brandon is a contributor for On Tap Sports Net covering the Chicago Blackhawks, Rockford IceHogs and Chicago Steel. He also covers the Blackhawks as an independent correspondent for Follow Brandon on Twitter @brandonmcain.

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