Columbus Blue Jackets

World championship offers audition for World Cup, draft

For many players, the hockey world championship is just the build-up to a bigger occasion.

Whether they're looking to earn a spot at the World Cup of Hockey in September or to make a good impression ahead of the NHL draft, the tournament in Moscow and St. Petersburg offers players a chance to meet or exceed expectations.

Competition can be fierce.

"I think we have a few guys that are in that situation," U.S. coach John Hynes told The Associated Press after practice in St. Petersburg. "We have a little bit of a younger team, but you also have guys that are looking for the young guns team that will be in the World Cup, so you kind of have a combination, I...