Montreal Canadiens Players To Watch At Men's World Hockey Championship

The Canadiens are sending five players to the Men's World Hockey Championship: Three players from the current roster and two prospects.
Canadiens and Slovakia forward Juraj Slafkovsky
Canadiens and Slovakia forward Juraj Slafkovsky / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

A small consolation for the Canadiens not making the playoffs is that some players can represent their countries at the Men's World Hockey Championship. This year's version of the championship is special, as players can get a final audition before next season's Four Nations Faceoff. The 2026 Winter Olympics is also looming. Two players on this list have a great chance of representing their country, while others must make an impression in this tournament.

Austria - #19 Vinenz Rohrer

Vinenz Rohrer spent his 2023-24 season with the ZSC Lions in the National League. He tallied seven goals and 12 assists in 49 games. It wasn't the best debut for the former Ottawa 67, and it shows that he is a long way from debuting in the NHL. However, it is still an honor for him to represent his country at the World Championship. He played in the 2023 World Juniors with Austria alongside David Reinbacher, scoring a goal and two assists. It could be a difficult tournament for Austria, as they have just two players that are property of NHL teams, Rohrer and Marco Rossi from Minnesota.

Canada - #21 Kaiden Guhle

Kaiden Guhle had a great season with the Canadiens and got rewarded with an invitation to the World Championship. Guhle is a perfect example of a player who may not be on people's radar for the Four Nations Faceoff or 2026 Olympics but could play himself into contention with a solid tournament. Guhle won silver in the 2021 World Juniors, losing in the final to the United States. That team included Alex Newhook, Justin Barron, and Kirby Dach who missed the tournament after an injury in one of the warmup games.

Don't be surprised if Guhle ends the tournament as one of Canada's most reliable defensemen and people start talking about his future with the national team. Team Canada mockups have seen players like Morgan Reilly holding down a spot on left-defense, and with his stock rapidly declining, there could be room for Guhle to squeeze in.

Finland - #79 Oliver Kapanen

While Guhle is using this tournament to earn his spot on future Team Canadas, Oliver Kapanen could be eyeing a place in the Canadiens' lineup. He has spent the last three years with Kalpa in the Finnish Liga, recording 34 points in 51 games this past season. Kapanen may need a few more years before he steals a spot down the middle of the Canadiens' forward group, but a standout performance here will be a good start.

Kapanen left a good impression at the end of the season, tallying 14 points in 13 playoff games for Kalpa. Kapanen also captained the Finland National Team at the 2023 World Juniors, ending with a disappointing quarterfinal loss.

Slovakia - Juraj Slafkovsky

The official Slovakia roster hasn't been posted with their numbers yet, but it will be hard to miss Juraj Slafkovsky when he hits the ice. Juraj is looking forward to donning the Slovakia jersey again, as he played some of his best hockey in international tournaments leading up to the draft. As we know, Shane Wright was the runaway favorite to go No.1 overall in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, but Slafkovsky's performances at the 2022 Olympics and World Championships helped his draft stock.

Slafkovsky led the Olympics in goals, tallying seven in seven games. He followed that by leading Slovakia in points in the World Championships, recording three goals and six assists. Slafkovsky became a hero in his country after the Olympics, leading the team to its first-ever hockey medal, claiming the bronze.

USA - #22 Cole Caufield

Another player that is no stranger to international play is Cole Caufield. He burst onto the scene at the World Under-17s, scoring eight goals and five assists in six games. Caufield was also chosen to play in the Under-18s that season and had a respectable four goals and two assists as an underage player. His performance in 2018 was just an appetizer for the following year's tournament when he scored 14 goals in seven games alongside Jack Hughes.

His performances at the Under-18s weren't enough to win him the gold medal, earning a silver and bronze in respective years. Caufield had a disappointing first attempt at the World Junior's in 2020, but contributed five points in seven games in 2021, on the way to winning a gold medal.

Montreal Canadiens' Matchups To Watch in Round Robin

  • May 13th, 10:20 AM ET - Slafkovsky vs. Caufield
  • May 14th, 2:20 PM ET - Rohrer vs. Guhle
  • May 16th, 10:20 AM ET - Rohrer vs. Kapanen
  • May 18th, 10:20 AM ET - Kapanen vs. Guhle