Goalie Pekka Rinne will play for Finland and defenseman Mattias Ekholm will play for Sweden at next month’s IIHF World Championships, the Nashville Predators announced Tuesday.
That makes six Predators who will participate at the tournament, May 9 through May 25 at Minsk, Belarus.
Forward Craig Smith and defenseman Seth Jones (United States), defenseman Ryan Ellis (Canada) and defenseman Roman Josi (Switzerland) were named to their teams last week.
It will be the third World Championships appearance for Rinne, who went a combined 6-4 in 2009 and 2010. Ekholm has no national team experience.
Rinne said last week he was unsure whether he wanted to participate in the tournament or spent the offseason training in order to strengthen his hip following a bacterial infection that caused him to miss 51 games this season.
Based on Nashville’s experience in 2013, his participation offers the opportunity to build momentum for 2014-15.
Smith followed a frustrating NHL season with 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 10 games at the 2013 World Championships. Josi was named the tournament’s most valuable player and best defenseman as he led Switzerland to a silver medal with nine points (four goals, five assists) in 10 games.
Smith finished this NHL season with a team-leading 24 goals and career-high 52 points. Josi had a career-high 40 points.
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