Goaltender Devon Levi, who burst onto the scene in his seven regular-season late appearances, is one of three Buffalo Sabers named to the Team Canada roster for the World Championships co-organized by Tampere, Finland, and Riga, Latvia.
The club’s management of recent weeks has raised questions over his goalkeeping plan for next season. Can the Sabers count on Levi and his seven games of NHL experience to lead them to the playoffs?
Levi will be joined on Team Canada by Buffalo forwards Jack Quinn and Peyton Krebs. The tournament begins on May 12 and ends on May 28.
Levi went 5-2 with a 2.94 goals-against average and .905 save percentage for the Sabers after joining the club at the end of the season following the end of his college season at Northeastern. He has previously represented Canada at the 2021 World Juniors and the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
Levi stood out as part of Canada’s silver-medal winning team at the 2021 Juniors, posting a .964 save percentage in seven games and being recognized as the tournament’s best goaltender.
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His teammates included Quinn, Krebs and current Buffalo center Dylan Cozens. Levi and Krebs were not yet members of the Buffalo organization at the time, as they were acquired into the trades later that year.
Levi and Quinn had revealed their intentions to play in the tournament during the Sabers’ locker-cleaning talks three weeks ago, while Krebs was unsure of his plans.
The Sabers view the tournament as a huge development opportunity for their players. Cozens was Canada’s leading scorer at last year’s event and credited his performance with helping him become a 30-goal man in the NHL this season.
There are high expectations for each given the way they have developed under Don Granato and his coaching staff.
Quinn had 14 goals and 23 assists in his rookie NHL season following a 26-goal, 61-point campaign last year at Rochester. Krebs had nine goals and 17 assists in 74 games with Buffalo.
Levi will compete for Canada’s top goalie position with Montreal’s Samuel Montembeault. Canada’s roster includes former Vancouver Sabers defenseman Tyler Myers, the Calgary trio of Milan Lucic, Tyler Toffoli and MacKenzie Weegar and University of Michigan forward Adam Fantilli, who is expected to be the No. 2 pick. at the NHL Draft next month in Nashville.
The team will be coached by Andre Tourigny of the Arizona Coyotes. He was Quinn’s junior coach with the Ottawa 67s of the Ontario Hockey League when Quinn scored 52 goals in the 2019-20 season.
2⃣0⃣ players have been selected to bring the 🍁 to #IIHFWorlds.2⃣0⃣ players have been chosen to wear the 🍁 to the #WorldIIHF.LIST ➡️ https://t.co/SSdXQtwf1NFORMATION ➡️ https://t.co/vp9VBvfXXd pic.twitter.com/Uh5ytKfatd
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) May 5, 2023
“Wearing the United States logo has always been something really special to me in the past and it’s going to continue to be really special to me and I’m going to try to make the country proud,” said Alex Tuch.
As he revealed after the season, Buffalo forward Alex Tuch will play for Team USA in the tournament and join his brother, Luke, on the team. Luke Tuch is a Boston University player and Montreal prospect who helped his college team reach the Frozen Four.
The American list announced Thursday includes former Sabers forward Anders Bjork and goaltender Cal Petersen, a Buffalo draft pick who never signed with the club and is now with the Los Angeles Kings.