Our first bit of international news, Insiders, as two members of the organization will play for Team USA at the upcoming IIHF World Championships.
In a roster announced by USA Hockey this morning, goaltender Cal Petersen and forward T.J. Tynan will both head overseas to wear the red, white and blue at the 2023 IIHF World Championships, which begins on May 12 in Finland and Latvia.
For Petersen, this marks his third World Championships and a terrific opportunity to head into the offseason on a positive note. Petersen was a part of Team USA’s 2017 squad, though he did not factor into a game, but returned in 2021 as he helped lead his country to a bronze medal. Skating alongside Kings teammates Matt Roy and Trevor Moore, Petersen posted a record of 5-2-0 in the tournament, with a 1.29 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage, as he was named the Best Goaltender of the tournament.
Though Petersen’s 2020-21 season was his best in the NHL to date, and he capped it off with an exclamation point, this opportunity presents a chance for him to build some positive momentum heading into the offseason coming off of a more challenging campaign. Following exit interviews, Kings General Manager Rob Blake left the door wide open for Petersen to re-take his spot in the NHL come training camp in the fall.
“We’ve got to get Cal to be an NHL goaltender, that’s why we signed him to [that contract],” Blake said. “It was a tough start to the season in his situation and he was real good going down and playing games, but that’s a big summer for him to come back.”
This tournament is not necessarily a precursor for that to happen, but it’s not a bad way to kick it off, either. Could a solid run of games provide a building block heading into the offseason? That has to be a part of the thought process. Petersen is under contract with the Kings for two more seasons and as it stands right now, he’d have his opportunity come the fall.
Regarding Tynan, he’ll attend the tournament for the second-straight season. Tynan joined up with Team USA midway through the tournament last year, after the Ontario Reign saw their season end earlier than anticipated in the second round of the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs. Playing with Team USA for the first time at the senior international level, Tynan collected five assists from six games played, as the United States fell to Czechia in the bronze-medal game.
Congratulations to both Petersen and Tynan, a pair of Notre Dame alums, as they represent the States.
Additionally, Kings prospect and Ontario Reign forward Martin Chromiak is currently in training camp with the Slovakian National Team, competing for a spot on their roster during the upcoming World Championships.
From Slovakia Assistant Coach Peter Fruhauf
Martin had a difficult start to the season. Due to health reasons, he was out of the game for a long time. However, despite this, his statistics this season are admirable. He scored 15 goals in the AHL, thus confirming his skills as a finisher. We believe that he will show them on the international stage as well.
Chromiak has been with Team Slovakia for over a week now, as he joined the team in late-April, following the conclusion of the Reign’s 2022-23 season. After joining the team during training camp, Chromiak skated in a pair of exhibition games against Team Germany over the last week and collected two assists in the second game a 4-3 defeat. He is currently one of 16 forwards on the roster, with two exhibition contests remaining. Slovakia will play Austria twice before their tournament begins on May 12. Chromiak has never represented Slovakia at the senior international level, but appears to be on track to do so for the first time this month.
Regarding the participation of other potential Kings players, today’s announcement for Team USA likely closes the door for participation for forward Blake Lizotte, who was non-commital but did indicate he would consider the possibility during his exit interview on Monday. Regarding other players, forward Jaret Anderson-Dolan said he would accept an invitation to Team Canada, in hopes of playing additional games this season, while forwards Rasmus Kupari and Carl Grundstrom expressed potential interest in representing Finland and Sweden, respectively. A few other Kings indicated they would decline for personal reasons, while others weren’t asked. Keep in mind these interviews came 12 hours after Game 6 and the players had likely not been contacted at that time. Assume we’ll see the rosters come out in full over the next few days, with the tournament now just over a week away.
Exit Interviews will continue this afternoon, Insiders, with a look at four more players from the secondary core. Additionally, we’ll speak with Vladislav Gavrikov today in his own exit interview, which will be covered here on LAKI as a part of the ongoing coverage throughout the weekend!