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Boston's Brad Marchand is the most complete forward Team Canada has. So why isn't he on the World Cup Of Hockey prelim roster?.

There are snubs, there are shocking overlooks...and there is simply not picking arguably the best Canadian forward in the NHL the past three years. In ignoring Brad Marchand for their preliminary roster, that's what Team Canada have done.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The World Cup of Hockey preliminary rosters came out yesterday-and it is fair to say that there was a surprise or two.

Phil Kessel, PK Subban, Claude Giroux. All names that weren't included in the Team USA or Team Canada's "best 16" preliminary rosters.

However, while all huge, unaccountable omissions, they all pale in the shade when comparing to Team Canada leaving out a player who the past few years has been more effective a player than names like Jonathan Toews, Jamie Benn and others who made it.

We are talking, of course, about Boston's very own Brad Marchand.

Bruins own Little Ball of Awesome has reached yet another level in his play this year, scoring 32 goals in a B's season that's constantly swung back and forth in the momentum stakes. His partnership with Patrice Bergeron (who incidentally WAS named on the Team Canada roster) has become something of the stuff of legend.

But even now, Team Canada seemingly doesn't realise how good he is. Nor does the rest of the NHL.

Marchand was overlooked for the roster despite being among the league's leading goalscorers, despite being a player second only to Patrice Bergeron in Bruins fan love (and even then it's probably pretty damn close).

But (and here's the key thing) he was overlooked despite being the most complete forward Team Canada has.

Yes. THE most complete.

More than Jonathan Toews. More than Ryan Getzlaf. More than Jamie Benn. CERTAINLY better than Jeff Carter.

And more complete than...yes, Sidney Crosby.

At this point I can see the pitchforks and torches of the angry mob coming over the hill. The question will also get asked "who do you leave off that roster for him"?

So let's prove this here.

Here is Brad Marchand (32 goals this season) compared to Jeff Carter (15).

You can see that over the past three years, Marchand has been equal or better offensively at a level than Carter, despite not having the advantage of playing on the offensive powerhouse known as the LA Kings. But crucially, Carter is not on the same planet when it comes to either useful possession or, even more importantly, stopping goals.

But Carter is the very definition of a "one way forward". So let's take a look at someone a bit more rounded. Someone like..say, Ryan Getzlaf.

Nope. While Getzlaf is slightly more productive (but then again, this is a guy who plays with COREY PERRY) when it comes to playmaking, Marchand still competes at a comparable level while generating more shots, carrying a significant "useful possession" advantage and preventing more goals - essentially, while the gap between the two is a lot narrower than that with Carter, the Bruin still holds an advantage and leaves his team overall better off when on the ice (with less time to have an effect).

But again, you say, Getzlaf is your big playmaking type. Maybe he's not really expected to defend-even though he does...quite well.

So let's take a look at what many in hockey media like to call the "gold standard" for two-way forwards, playing on one of the most successful teams in the NHL. Surely Marchand can't be the equal or better of someone like Jonathan Toews...CAPTAIN CLUTCH himself. Right?

You're right. He can't.

Marchand is better. And honestly? It ain't even close.

Running down the list, Marchand is more prolific in goals, has more primary points (goals and direct assists). He generates more shots, stops the other team from having more shots, generates goals at (at worst) an equal rate.

But he does all this while stopping goals at a level almost DOUBLE that of Toews, while carrying more useful possession.

By any tangible measure, Brad Marchand has more of a useful effect on his team than Jonathan Toews does. The facts are there, in black and white.

This isn't just a flash in the pan, either. These ratings are amalgamated from the past THREE seasons. Seasons in which the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup twice.

So what we have here, is a player who is not only better than SOME of his competition on the Team Canada roster and has been consistently the past three seasons - what we have here is a player who's quietly better by most statistical measures than the player many are currently calling the best Canadian player out there.

And yet he's not yet on the Team Canada roster.

That's not just a snub. That's unexplainable.

Brad Marchand is, right now, the most complete player Team Canada have, and he's not worthy of being included among the first 16 names on their roster.

That's not just a snub. That's downright idiocy.

The Canadian management can't leave him to twist in the wind much longer.

Do that, and they're not using the best asset their country has.