Lightning's Brayden Point to play for Team Canada
Coach Jon Cooper will have at least one familiar face on his Team Canada roster for next month's World Championships.
Rookie center Brayden Point, 21, will play for Canada, one of the first few names released for the roster. It's been one heck of a year for Point, who surprirsed many - including himself - by making the Lightning out of camp.
Then, as a first-year pro, Point was arguably one of the team's most consistent players, with 18 goals, finishing the season as No. 1 center due to injuries.
"It's been a fun year," Point said Sunday. "I've got to play with some really great players and got some really great opportunities. I'm happy about that."
Cooper, who will coach Team Canada, lauded Point's "phenomenal" growth. This won't be Point's first stint with Canada, having played on the last two World Junior teams. He was Canada's captain last season.
"I'm just so impressed that somebody that young (21) and a little bit undersized (listed at 5 feet 10, 166 pounds) can come in," Cooper said. "A lot of guys put the team on their back the last few months. But (Point's) growth has been phenomenal. It's just a committed kid. There are not enough guys like him, I'll tell you that."
Point joins Nikita Kucherov (Russia) and Andrei Vasilevskiy (Russia) as the Lightning players currently confirmed to play in the tournament. Jonathan Drouin (Canada) was invited, but declined.