On Monday, Hockey Canada will announce its selection camp roster for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.
With more viewings due to Hockey Canada’s new management team and at the bequest of head coach Brent Sutter, the number of invitees will be down significantly from what we’ve seen in recent years.
Ultimately, Sutter would love to see his team taken over without having to make any cuts in Europe, but that may be impossible. Also, unlike in years past, should an NHL player become available after camp opens, he will be added to the roster.
The camp will take place in Toronto from Dec. 12-15. On the final day, the team will make its way to Copenhagen and practise there until pre-tournament games start on Dec. 20 in Sweden, against Finland.
Unlike last year, only two goalies will be present once the tournament starts on Boxing Day.
According to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, Griffin Reinhart will not be able to serve any of the remaining three games of his IIHF suspension during exhibition play. Therefore, if he’s selected, he will only be eligible to return New Year’s Eve against the U.S. (missing Canada’s games against Germany, Czech Republic and Slovakia).
Sean Monahan’s injury might actually be good for Hockey Canada in that by the time he’s ready to return, the Flames will have lived without him in their lineup and by extension may be more willing to release him for the world juniors as a measure of getting back into game shape.
Of all the NHL-eligible world juniors, Matthew Dumba seems the most likely to be released by his club. Dumba is playing just over 12 minutes per game, but hasn’t played in over a week. Meanwhile, Tom Wilson has appeared in all 26 Caps games, despite only getting limited playing time (7:08 TOI/GM).
Here are my picks for the camp:
Goalies: Zachary Fucale, Jake Paterson, Eric Comrie.
Defenceman: Aaron Ekblad, Chris Bigras, Slater Koekkoek, Adam Pelech, Josh Morrissey, Griffin Reinhart, Damon Severson, Derrick Pouliot, Madison Bowey.
Forwards: Jonathan Drouin, Charles Hudon, Anthony Mantha, Felix Girard, Bo Horvat, Scott Laughton, Josh Anderson, Connor McDavid, Kerby Rychel, Taylor Leier, Curtis Lazar, Hunter Shinkaruk, Sam Reinhart, Nic Petan, Morgan Klimchuk.
NHLers who are eligible: Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado), Tom Wilson (Washington), Sean Monahan (Calgary), Matthew Dumba (Minnesota), Morgan Rielly (Toronto).
And finally, don’t expect the camera-in-your-face cuts we’ve seen in recent years. At least one member of Hockey Canada’s management group claims it won’t happen on his watch.
Friday Night Hockey
Don’t forget to tune in to Friday Night Hockey when Connor McDavid and the high-flying Erie Otters pay a visit to the nation’s capital to take on outstanding rookie Travis Konecny and the Ottawa 67’s. Be sure to check our schedule for the time in your area.