Some years, it feels just like the Canadian world junior crew may very well be picked earlier than choice camp begins.
This isn’t certainly one of them.
On Monday, Hockey Canada revealed the 31 gamers (4 goaltenders, 10 defencemen and 17 forwards) for its ultimate tryout beginning subsequent week at Oakville’s Sixteen Mile Sports activities Complicated. There are a selection of query marks for a rustic attempting to rebound from a medal-less 2019 event on house ice in British Columbia.
4 eligible gamers — forwards Barrett Hayton (Coyotes), Kirby Dach (Blackhawks), Joe Veleno (Pink Wings) and defenceman Noah Dobson (Islanders) — have been left off the listing as a result of it isn’t but clear if their NHL golf equipment will launch them for the occasion, which begins in opposition to the US Dec. 26 in Ostrava, Czech Republic.
At this level, Hayton and Dach are lengthy pictures to be loaned to Hockey Canada. The outlook is extra beneficial for Veleno, who’s taking part in within the American league with the Grand Rapids Griffins, and Dobson, who has been used sparingly by New York.
“We’re continuing to have conversations with all four NHL teams,” Shawn Bullock, Hockey Canada’s director of males’s nationwide groups, stated. “Time is on our (side). The (NHL holiday) roster freeze is Dec. 19 and that’s when we expect a final decision, if not before that.”
There are some damage points which have hampered the scouting course of, too.
Former OHL first total decide Ryan Suzuki, a Hurricanes first-rounder and Barrie Colts standout, was handed over whereas recovering from an eye fixed damage that left him sidelined for a number of weeks. Halifax defenceman Jared McIsaac, a member of final yr’s Canadian squad, and Winnipeg ahead Peyton Krebs are heading to camp regardless of lacking the primary three months of their Canadian Hockey League seasons.
McIsaac, a Pink Wings prospect, has solely appeared in a single sport with the Mooseheads to this point whereas Krebs, a Vegas first-rounder, has skated in 5 up to now.
“It’s always a concern when someone comes back from a long-term injury,” Mark Hunter, Hockey Canada’s under-20 crew GM, stated. “The reports we got from Halifax and Winnipeg, everything’s fine. But it’s another level of speed and skill when you come to camp. It’s going to be interesting how they react. Hopefully, they’re fine and at the top end of their game. Only time will tell where they’re at.”
Owen Sound captain Aidan Dudas additionally earned a take care of being harm in a sport final week at Kitchener.
“That’s something we’ve got to figure out,” Hunter stated. “We’ll have our doctors evaluate and if he can’t go, he can’t go.”
The one certainty is Alexis Lafreniere, the Rimouski star ahead and first-overall frontrunner for the 2020 NHL draft, is predicted to be a significant component for the Dale Hunter-coached Canadian crew. Even he skipped the Quebec league portion of final month’s Canada Russia exhibition sequence due to bodily woes.
“His experience (from last year) is really valuable,” Hockey Canada head scout Brad McEwan stated. “Until you live it, it’s hard to explain what it’s all about. Knowing Alexis’ character, he’s going to be a real good positive guy for our team and we expect leadership in the way he conducts himself and plays.”
With solely 4 potential returnees (Lafreniere, McIsaac, Veleno and Spokane d-man Ty Smith), the door is broad open for an irregular variety of youthful gamers to crack the lineup. Sudbury’s Quinton Byfield, Saginaw’s Cole Perfetti and Erie’s Jamie Drysdale are 17-year-olds and potential NHL first-round picks.
They’re three of the six invitees who’ve but to be drafted by an NHL membership.
“We felt strongly they were the best players, irrelevant of age,” Hockey Canada head scout Brad McEwan stated. “They’ve been good productive gamers by means of our (Program of Excellence) and take a look at what they’ve finished with their membership groups. Quinton, he’s a giant physique who possesses the puck and will get to the areas he must be profitable. Cole is admittedly highly-skilled with great hockey sense. You’ll be able to transfer him round a lineup and he can produce objectives. Jamie Drysdale’s sport retains evolving. He continues to be an impactful participant in Erie.
“We’re excited to get all three of these guys to camp.”
The most important battle, in fact, will likely be in web. There isn’t any lock as up to now two years with clear No. 1s Mikey DiPietro, now within the
Canucks system, and Flyers netminder Carter Hart.
That uncertainty has paved the best way for undrafted 18-year-old Guelph Storm goalie Nico Daws, who has the OHL’s greatest numbers in his first yr as a significant junior starter. He’ll problem Drummondville’s Olivier Rodrigue (Oilers), Peterborough’s Hunter Jones (Wild) and Portland’s Joel Hofer (Blues) for one of many three obtainable puck-stopping spots.
“He’s playing in front of a young D (corps) and has made a big difference for the Guelph team,” Hunter stated of the 6-foot-Four, 202-pounder from Burlington. “He positive seems to be like a goalie (and) everyone’s received an opportunity to make the roster. It’s broad open. We wouldn’t be bringing them in the event that they weren’t (succesful). They’ve received an opportunity to make it and it’s going to be an intense 4 days for all of the gamers.
“There will likely be a number of evaluations by the (choice) group and difficult choices.”
There are a number of challenges (age, damage, uncertainty) to beat, starting with two video games subsequent week in opposition to a crew of Canadian college all-stars.
But when the ultimate 23-man roster finally ends up with gold medals round their necks subsequent month, these hurdles will likely be forgotten.