Six Florida Panthers will participate in 2019 IIHF World Championship
Cats will send a contingent of a half dozen to Slovakia
The Florida Panthers will have six participants (four skaters) at the 2019 IIHF Men’s Ice Hockey World Championship, which runs from May 10-26 in Bratislava and Kosice, Slovakia.
Evgenii Dadonov will represent Team Russia, Frank Vatrano will represent Team USA, Juho Lammikko will represent Team Finland and minor-leaguer Vincent Praplan will represent Team Switzerland.
Additionally, Panthers President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Dale Tallon will serve on the U.S. Men’s National Team Advisory Group and goaltending coach Robb Tallas will serve in the same capacity for Team Italy.
Dadonov, 30, appeared in a career-high 82 games for Florida, producing career-bests in assists (42) and points (70), while tying his career-best in goals (28).
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound native of Chelyabinsk, Russia, will be competing in his sixth IIHF World Championship with Team Russia, having won a gold medal in 2014, a silver medal in 2015 and bronze medals in 2016 and 2017. Over 48 career World Championship tournament games, Dadonov has posted 41 points (15G/26A).
Vatrano, 25, appeared in a career-high 81 games for Florida recording a career-best 24 goals, 15 assists and 39 points. The 5-foot-9, 201-pound native of East Longmeadow, MA, ranked first (tied) on Florida in goals scored at even-strength (22).
He will be playing in his second IIHF World Championship having represented USA at the 2016 tournament, where he produced eight points (4G/4A) in 10 games. On the international stage, Vatrano won a gold medal with USA at the 2012 IIHF U18 World Junior Championship.
Lammikko, 23, split the season with Florida and the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds. The 6-foot-2, 191-pound native of Noormarkku, Finland, appeared in 40 games for the Panthers, drawing six assists and 36 games for Springfield, producing 18 points.
A gold medalist with Team Finland at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, Lammikko is set to make his IIHF World Championship debut.
Praplan, 24, appeared in 14 games with Springfield (AHL), registering seven points (2-5-7) and 27 games with the San Jose Barracuda (AHL) amassing 16 points (4-12-16). The 6-foot, 190-pound native of Sierre, Switzerland was acquired by Florida from the San Jose Sharks on February 22 in exchange for future considerations.
He will be competing in his second IIHF World Championship for Switzerland after being named one of the Swiss team’s top three players in 2017. Praplan has represented Switzerland on the international stage at several different levels and tournaments throughout his career including the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.