Saad, 25, has never played in the tournament. The Pittsburgh native hasn’t suited up for his country since he won gold with Team USA at the 2012 World Juniors tournament. Part of that is attributed to playing in the playoffs with Chicago (2012-15) and with the under-23 Team North America team in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. He could’ve played at the 2016 Worlds tournament, when he was in his first season with Columbus, when the Blue Jackets missed the playoffs and finished in 15th place in the 16-team Eastern Conference.
Saad isn’t the only Blackhawks player deciding whether to play at Worlds. Patrick Kane has also reportedly expressed interest in playing, and Craig Custance of The Athletic notes that if Kane decides to play that it would lead to his Chicago teammates, including forwards Saad, Alex DeBrincat, Vinnie Hinostroza, Nick Schmaltz and defenseman Connor Murphy also wanting too.
“If he’s in, everyone is in,” one NHL source told Custance.
Team USA has historically struggled at the tournament, winning it only twice in 1933 and 1960. They have won bronze twice this decade in 2013 and 2015. The 2018 tournament is from May 4-20 in Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark.