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Player Diaries

World Cup diary: Leon Draisaitl

Team Europe forward reflects on 3-0 win against Team USA in opener

by Leon Draisaitl / Special to

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl is playing for Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey 2016. The 20-year-old has agreed to keep a diary throughout the tournament, which begins in Toronto on Saturday and runs through Oct. 1.

In his latest installment, Draisaitl talks about Team Europe's 3-0 win against Team USA in its opening game and what's next for the team as it prepares for Team Czech Republic on Monday (3 p.m. ET; ESPN2, SN, TVA Sports).

Walking out of the rink, it felt great. Of course, I think first of all, that's a big win. Every game is so important, such a quick tournament. To get off to such a good start is really important. Maybe that gives us a little bit more respect from the other teams. But I think every game is going to be a battle and it's going to be tough games. Monday is going to be the same thing. Team Czech Republic is a good team too. It'll be a tough battle.

Video: USA@EUR: Niederreiter, Draisaitl finish a 2-on-0 rush

I think we got kind of stamped up as the underdogs here. I think sometimes that's not a bad position to be in, but I think within the room we're really confident, we know what we're capable of, and I think we showed that Saturday.

A lot of guys have family in town, so most of the guys went for dinner with their families after the game. I had two buddies in town, and they play at Western Michigan University, and they came down here and it was good to see them, have dinner with them.

We take it game-by-game, step-by-step from here. We don't want to look too far ahead. We have to be well prepared for Team Czech Republic and we'll have to make sure we're ready to battle and try and get the next two points.

Personally, I feel pretty good. Right now I have a little bit of confidence, which is nice. But again, we're a team and that's far more important than myself.

I think we found our identity within the team. It's fun to see how all these nations come together from so many different countries and from so many different teams. We've come together and actually built a really good group and a really good team. So that's fun to see.

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