Joe Pavelski will officially captain Team USA at the World Cup of Hockey, according to a tweet from USA Hockey on Wednesday morning.
The announcement comes as no surprise, as a source told CSNCalifornia.com on August 17 that there was a “99 percent chance” that the Wisconsin native would wear the ‘C’ for Team USA. Pavelski just completed his first season as captain of the Sharks, culminating in the club’s first-ever Western Conference championship.
Team USA is currently holding its training camp in Columbus, OH, in preparation for the tournament, which runs from Sept. 17 – Oct. 1 in Toronto.
Patrick Kane and Ryan Suter will serve as alternate captains.
Pavelski, 32, led the Sharks and was fifth in the NHL with 38 goals last season, while his 11 game-winning goals led the league. In the postseason, Pavelski contributed 23 points (14g, 9a) in 24 games as the Sharks advanced to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final, losing to the Penguins in six games.
He is the only NHL player to have four 30-goal, 30-assist seasons since 2011-12, and his 116 goals since the start of the 2013-14 season is second behind only Alex Ovechkin (154).
Since 2008-09, only Kane and Phil Kessel have more points than Pavelski’s 495 among US-born NHL players. The World Cup will mark the fourth time that Pavelski has played for the United States, including the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, and the 2009 World Championships. In 17 games, he has 10 points (2g, 8a).
Pavelski is the first full-time, US-born captain in Sharks franchise history.