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Ones to watch at the World Championships

PUBLISHED: 15:00 10 May 2019

General view of an ice rink from the stands (Pic: Lee Power)

General view of an ice rink from the stands (Pic: Lee Power)

Archant

There are a number of talented players heading to the World Championships, with NHL stars John Tavares and Jonny Gaudreau two of the bigger names on the list ahead of the games.

Not forgetting the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Elias Petterson, Henrik Lundqvist and Nikita Kucherov playing for Sweden and Russia in Group B.

However, here are Jacob Ranson's ones to watch from each nation in Group A that will face Great Britain in the upcoming tournament.

Sean Couturier (Canada) - My pick originally was John Tavares, the NHL's 2009 first overall draft pick, until he got ruled out through injury. I've opted for Couturier instead as he had a solid season for Philadelphia Flyers and is growing year on year in the NHL.

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Jonny Gaudreau (USA) - This was a tricky choice as the USA has two players who have arguably the best puck handling skills in the world in Gaudreau and Patrick Kane. The Calgary Flames forward has had a stand-out season picking up 99 points.

Kaapo Kakko (Finland) - The potential first overall pick in the NHL's 2019 draft will be keen to impress on the international stage and show exactly why he should be picked ahead of draft rival Jack Hughes.

Lars Eller (Denmark) - The current Stanley Cup champion is massively under-rated despite being a solid NHL player for the last decade. Has played an integral part of the Washington Capitals' success in recent years including the Cup and Presidents Trophy.

Leon Draisaitl (Germany) - The young Edmonton Oilers forward is a danger man and has put up good numbers throughout his career so far. The 23-year-old managed 105 points in a struggling Oilers team with 50 goals. He knows where the net is and will cause trouble.

Tomas Tatar (Slovakia) - The 28-year-old winger had a strong season with Montreal Canadiens with 58 points. Tatar picked himself back up to levels he reached at Detroit Red Wings after a struggle in the second half of last season with Vegas Golden Knights.

Guillaume Leclerc (France) - I could have gone for the experienced Teddy Da Costa, but Leclerc at just 23 finished as top goal scorer of Ligue Magnus with 61 points and has a potentially bright future ahead if he can impress.

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