In theory, it is possible for Finland to bring two NHL-experienced players to the World Championships in Edmonton, the New York Rangers. Kaapo Kakko and Winnipeg Jetsin Ville Heinola.
Heinola is currently playing on loan at Rauma Luko, Kakko is training in Turku for the next NHL season.
– In this case, the order of march is very clear. NHL clubs decide whether to let their players in. If the clubs would give permission, then I would chat with the players. The state of mind and motivation of the players are decisive, the head coach Antti Pennanen says Iltalehti.
– Both are excellent players, they have shown it. We do everything we can to get the best possible team into the tournament.
GMs thing on the site
From the direction of the Hockey Federation to the NHL organizations, the general manager of the A national team maintains Jere Lehtinen as well as the U20 national team equivalent Kimmo Oikarinen.
The next NHL season begins with this information in early January. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise, even if the start of the season were postponed to a later date. That, in turn, would improve Kako and Heinola’s chances of joining the national team in December.
– When there is any information from the NHL about the start of the series, then we will react and be in contact with the clubs, Pennanen piles up.
Veteran expert at Canadian sports channel TSN Bob McKenzie stated on Twitter earlier this week that the Jets would be admitted to the World Cup according to Heinola.
Especially getting Kako to the World Cup would be a huge help to the Finnish team. The 19-year-old from Turku has 66 NHL regular season matches in his statistics from last season. In them, the striker struck 10 goals and 23 power points.
Kakko has won World Cup gold at the 18- and 20-year-old World Championships, as well as at the men’s level. Many Finnish disc jockeys remember Kako’s magnificent World Cup gold goal in the youth championships in Vancouver in January 2019.
– I haven’t talked to Kaapo about the races yet. Let the players focus on their own everyday life now, the time for discussions is later, Pennanen stumbles.
In a bubble
The World Cup will start on December 25 and the final will be played on January 6. The Finnish team will leave for Canada early, already around mid-December.
In Edmonton, teams live in a bubble, meaning they only move between the hotel and the hall.
Even if the NHL starts in early January, the young stars participating in the World Cups in different countries would lose only the December training camp and possibly a few regular season games.
The Youth World Championships are highly valued in North American puck circles. It’s not at all impossible for NHL teams to lend their players to different national teams a lot this time around.
– It is possible that there will be all-time youth competitions, Pennanen thinks.