The formation of the team was a two-pronged effort by the NHL and the NHLPA to create a more competitive team than Slovakia, Switzerland or Germany would be able to send on their own and a pretty blatant way to include Slovenia's Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings in particular as well as the New York Rangers Mats Zuccarello of Norway, who otherwise would have had no place in the World Cup.
The final roster included players from eight countries, Thomas Vanek of Austria, Mikkel Bodker, Jannik Hansen and Frans Nielsen of Denmark, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare of France, Leon Draisaitl, Christian Erhoff, Thomas Greiss, Phillip Grubauer, Tobias Reider and Dennis Seidenberg of Germany, Zuccarello of Norway, Zedeno Chara, Marian Gaborik, Jaroslav Halak, Marian Hossa, Andrej Sekera and Tomas Tatar of Slovakia, team captain Kopitar of Slovenia, Roman Josi, Nino Niederreiter, Luca Sbisa and Mark Streit of Switzerland.
Outside of Canada, Russia, Finland, the United States, Sweden and the Czech Republic, who are the top six ranked nations in the current IIHF World Rankings, Switzerland at 7th and Slovakia at 8th seemed like the two most likely teams to be included in the World Cup if the organizers had not gone with the Team Europe and Team North America 23 an under "young guns" concept.
Belarus at 9th, is the highest ranked team not represented by a player on Team Europe. Germany (10th) would be the obvious choice to participate if Slovakia or Switzerland had been passed over.
The rankings for the other nations included on Team Europe are Norway in 11th, Denmark at 13, France is 14th, Slovenia in 15th and Austria 17th.
One surprising omission is Latvia, ranked 12th, as there was a time that they would have had a good chance at multiple players on a Team Europe in the decade after the breakup of the Soviet Union, such as one time NHL regulars Arturs Irbe, Sandis Ozolinsh or Sergei Zholtok. The lone remaining nation ranked above Austria without a player on Team Europe is Kazakhstan in 16th.
Team Europe's jerseys feature a "a modern E shield" crest "designed to signify unity between players" that "connects all of their home nations." Each players' jersey will feature the flag of their home country, a device employed by the NHL back during the era of the World vs. North America format of the NHL All-Star Game from 1998 to 2002.
Additionally, the names of each European nation are printed across the sleeve as a "unity stripe" while a "continental blue color scheme highlights the harmony on a unified team".