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Seven Lightning players to play in the world championships

Three rookies will represent their countries in the tournament
Lightning center Anthony Cirelli (71) celebrates beating Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask during a game in December in Tampa. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Apr. 29

The Lightning is done for the season, but seven players aren’t.

Federations announced their IIHF world championship rosters on Monday. Anthony Cirelli and Matheiu Joseph (Canada), Ondřej Palát (Czech Republic), Nikita Kucherov, Mikhail Sergachev and Andrei Vasilevskiy (Russia), and Erik Černák (Slovakia) will all play in the tournament.


Cirelli and Joseph were both rookies this year, though Cirelli played in 18 games and the playoffs last year.

Both played on the world juniors team in 2017, and this will be their first world championship appearances. In seven juniors games, Cirelli had three goals, four assists. Joseph recorded one goal and four assists.

Czech Republic

Palát is a veteran of international play. He played at worlds in 2017, as well as on the Olympic team in 2014 and on the World Cup team in 2017. In 13 games between those tournaments, he has one goal and four assists.


Kucherov and Vasilevskiy also have international experience on this level, whereas this is a first for Sergachev.

Vasilevskiy is one of the few players to have played in world juniors and the world championships in the same year, which he did in 2014 before playing in the NHL. He was also on the worlds team in 2017 and the World Cup, though he didn’t play. In 11 international games, he has a .960 save percentage.

Kucherov played in the 2017 worlds and World Cup. In 19 games, he posted 11 goals and 10 assists.

Sergachev played in the world juniors in 2017, scoring one goal in seven games.


Černák, another rookie, played on the world juniors team four times, starting when he was 16. In 20 games, the defenseman recorded three assists. This will be his first appearance in the world championships.

The World Championship will be played in Slovakia, May 10-26.


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