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Lightning Round: The Hlinka-Gretzky Cup is under way!

What? It’s live hockey.

NHL All-Star Media Availability Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

See that kid in the photo with Tim Thomas from 2008? That’s Lucas St. Louis, son of former Tampa Bay Lightning forward Marty St. Louis. Lucas is still a kid, but is now old enough to represent his country in an international tournament of note. He’s playing for Team USA in the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, an international tournament featuring some of the best Under-18 players in the world, or at least in Canada, the United States, Finland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and Slovakia. For prospect watchers it’s really the first chance of the season to see some of the players that will be household names by the time the 2023 NHL Draft rolls around.

The US kicked off their tournament on Sunday in style with an 8-1 win over Germany. Czechia defeated Finland 4-3 in a shootout and the hosts, Canada, (the tournament is taking place in Red Deer, Alberta) dispatched the Swiss, 7-0. Team Canada is the likely favorite and that is without presumptive 2023 Number One pick Connor Bedard who is training with the Under-20 team in preparation for the World Juniors in a couple of weeks.

Sweden and Slovakia open their tournament on Monday while the US takes on Finland and Germany matches up against Czechia. Team USA wraps up their group play on Wednesday against Czechia.

The tournament will take place all week long with the group round wrapping up on Wednesday, the knockout round on Friday, and the medal round on Saturday. It does appear that the Team USA games will be broadcast on the NHL Network as will the bronze medal and gold medal games on Saturday.

It might not be NHL hockey, but it’s live hockey.

Lightning / NHL News

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