U.S. captain and forward Justin Abdelkader (Muskegon, Mich.) will miss the remainder of the 2021 IIHF Men’s World Championship due to a lower-body injury sustained during the second period of Team USA’s 2-0 win over Germany. He is expected to remain with Team USA here in Riga, Latvia.
In addition, forward Brian Boyle (Hingham, Mass.) has been tabbed captain of Team USA for the remainder of the tournament alongside alternate captains Matt Roy (Detroit, Mich.) and Colin Blackwell (North Andover, Mass.).
Abdelkader was named captain of Team USA on May 21 and finishes the tournament with one assist through six games. The 2021 IIHF Men’s World Championship marked his second time serving as captain for Team USA (2014 U.S. Men’s National Team) and his fifth time representing the U.S. internationally. In 26 international appearances, he register 12 points (5g, 7a). He spent this past season with EV Zug (Swiss) where he registered eight points (4g, 4a) in nine games before tallying nine points (6g, 3a) in 13 playoff games to help EV Zug capture the 2021 NL Title. A 13-year NHL veteran, all with the Detroit Red Wings, Abdelkader amassed 252 points (106g, 146a) in 739 NHL games.
Boyle, who is representing the United States in international competition for the first time, has registered two points (1g, 1a) through six games. This marks the fourth time he will serve in a leadership capacity after serving as an alternate captain with two NHL teams (New Jersey Devils, Tampa Bay Lightning) and also serving as captain his senior season with Boston College.
A veteran of 13 NHL seasons with the Florida Panthers, LA Kings, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs, Boyle has registered 231 points (73g, 76a) in 805 regular-season games and added 31 points (16g, 15a) in 118 playoff games.
Following the 2017-18 NHL season, Boyle was named the Bill Masterton Trophy award winner as the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. During training camp that season, he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone marrow cancer. He made his season debut Nov. 1 and scored 10 goals in his first 25 games, including one on Hockey Fights Cancer Night at Prudential Center, a 3-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Nov. 24. Boyle missed three games after his season debut and represented the Devils at the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game. A veteran leader in the locker room and helped New Jersey to a 44-29-9 record and its first Stanley Cup Playoff berth since 2012. New Jersey finished with 97 points, 27 more than last season.
Team USA, 5-0-0-1 (W-OTW-OTL-L), will face Italy today (June 1) in its final preliminary round game. Opening faceoff is set for 9:15 a.m. ET and the game can be seen live on NHL Network.