by Russell Preston, Sports 1140 KHTK

The World Cup of Hockey begins Sept. 17 and San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski is expected to be named the captain of the American team.

Sources told CSN Bay Area on Wednesday that there is a “99 percent chance” Pavelski is given the honor this year.

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Last season, Pavelski led the Sharks with 38 goals and was third on the team with 40 assists, but his postseason production of 14 goals and nine assists showcased how good he can be on a national level.

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Zach Parise of the Minnesota Wild was the last captain of Team USA during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, but had a down season in 2015-16. Meanwhile, Pavelski led the Sharks to their first Stanley Cup Final last season in his first season as team captain – he was also the first runner-up for the cover of NHL 17 behind Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues.

In Sochi, Pavelski had a goal and four assists in six games, while Parise ended up with just one goal and no assists in those games.

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Pavelski, 32, is the third-highest scoring American in the NHL since his first full season in 2007-08, only behind Phil Kessel and Parise in goals. His 535 points is also third in the country during that span, following Patrick Kane (663) and Kessel (550).