It's been seven years since we've had a best-on-best international hockey tournament, the last being the World Cup in 2016. There have been rumors of a Four Nations tournament potentially taking place in 2025 involving the USA, Canada, Sweden, and Finland, as it's unsure if NHL players will be involved in the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan.
With the World Junior Championship underway and a craving for international hockey involving the world's best players, JFresh of EP Rinkside held a poll on X in order to name a roster for Team USA and Canada.
Two NY Islanders were named to Team Canada - Mat Barzal and Noah Dobson. Of the 2,466 entries, Dobson was included in 43% of those - eighth-most among all defensemen. Barzal was among the 14 forwards included on 62% of ballots - the tenth most among all Canadian forwards, sitting one place above former Islanders captain John Tavares, who received 56%.
Just missing out as the first player "cut" is Islanders center Bo Horvat, who finished ten percentage points behind 14th forward Zach Hyman.
The Islanders were snubbed on the Team USA roster, as Brock Nelson led all Islanders in voting, receiving 16%. Islanders fans flooded JFresh's replies, expressing their frustration in having one their own so far off from being in contention.
Fans were polled only on Team USA and Canada, but other Islanders could represent their home nations if the polls were extended to other countries. Depending on the competition, Russia could be banned from play due to the War in Ukraine - but Ilya Sorokin would be a shoo-in for that team, and Alexander Romanov could make a strong push due to his improvement and defensive prowess this season.
Pierre Engvall could be an addition to Team Sweden, though not likely in a top-6 role like with the Islanders, but in a bottom-6 role, adding another dimension of speed and size.
Though it's all hypothetical, an international tournament would be great for the game, and with the Islanders playing much better than at the time of the last tournament, we'd likely see more players who typically wear blue and orange wearing their country's colors.