The LA Kings season may be drawing to a close, but three LA Kings will be playing for Team Canada in the 2021 IIHF World Championship.
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) 2021 World Championship tournament will take place from May 21st to June 6th in Riga, Latvia. The sixteen teams annual tournament provides NHL players whose teams did not qualify for the playoffs a chance to continue playing – even if it is for only a couple of weeks.
For at least three LA Kings, their season will not end Thursday night in Colorado, as they have been selected to represent Team Canada at the World Championship tournament. Those players are Sean Walker, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, and Gabe Vilardi.
At 26 years of age, Walker is the most senior of the trio. The right defenseman missed some time this season after being hit in the face by a slapshot from Matt Dumba but has since returned to the lineup. He played well as of late and scored the goal that led to Anze Kopitar’s 1,000th NHL point.
Vilardi and Anderson-Dolan enter this tournament as 21-year-olds. They both play center and were also drafted by the LA Kings in 2017 – with Vilardi being selected in the first round and Anderson-Dolan in the second. Both players have had their share of ups and downs this season, but Vilardi especially has come on very strong as of late. He has three goals and two assists in his last four games.
The LA Kings triumvirate will join 2021 top draft prospect Owen Power, Cole Perfetti of the Winnipeg Jets, Darcy Kuemper, Maxime Comtois and Adam Henrique of the Anaheim Ducks, Adin Hill and Darcy Kuemper from the Arizona Coyotes, among others on Team Canada.