The Vancouver Canucks have a hard-working defenseman in undrafted blue liner Chris Tanev – and apparently, his effort for the Pacific Division club caught the eye of Team Canada ahead of the upcoming 2016 IIHF World Championships.
Tanev, who finished his 2015-16 season with four goals and 18 points for a nice 69-game year with the Canucks, will head to the Worlds with Team Canada this spring in Russia – where he’ll make his first-ever appearance for the Canadian National Team in hopes of helping the team defend their gold medal from last year:
Chris Tanev expected to be part of Team Canada's World Championships team, reports @CassieCampbell
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 10, 2016
A native of Toronto, Ontario, Tanev went unnoticed during his draft-eligible seasons while playing in the OJPHL for the Markham Waxers – but after just one year of NCAA hockey at R.I.T., he was inked to a deal with the Canucks. He’s been with the club ever since, spending his first few seasons with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose and Chicago Wolves before getting the full-season nod in the 2013-14 campaign. He hasn’t looked back since.
Tanev won’t be the only NHLer to get his first international hockey experience while playing at the World Championships, of course.
Last season, undrafted US forwards like Mark Arcobello and Ben Smith got their first nods to represent their nation en route to a bronze medal – but with the jam-packed Canadian roster, seeing Tanev get the nod is just that much more special.
He’ll head to Russia in the next few weeks with the other Team Canada nominees, which so far include himself, goaltender Cam Talbot, left winger Taylor Hall, and Connor McDavid.