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Insider

The NHL's version of Team North America

Team North America electrified the World Cup of Hockey. Could a similar formula of young, fast, skilled players be successful in the NHL? Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson was like the rest of us. He was taken aback by the speed and skill of Team North America during the World Cup of Hockey. He also had the best vantage point, as a Team Sweden defenseman trying to slow its charge during a furious opening to the start of his preliminary-round game against the kids.

“The first two minutes, they were flying all over. I felt like a 45-year-old out there,” Ekman-Larsson said. “I didn’t touch the puck twice in the first 10 minutes.”

And Ekman-Larsson is pretty good at this game.

“I would like to think so,” he said, laughing.

While Team North America captured our hearts, it also raised the question as to whether an NHL team could be constructed that way, whether this was the hockey we’d be seeing a few years from now in the NHL.