Hockey Canada announced the selection camp roster for its 2017 World Junior Championship squad Tuesday. It’s a deep group full of top NHL Draft picks—Nolan Patrick is the only draft eligible invited, and who knows what’s going to happen with him—and could still be buttressed by players loaned to the team by their NHL clubs.
Potential pros include blueliner Jakob Chychrun and winger Lawson Crouse from Arizona, Philly centre Travis Konecny and Islanders winger Anthony Beauvillier. Of those Konecny would seem the least likely, but the others make sense, both for club and country. Two eligible players who definitely won’t be made available: Mitch Marner and Connor McDavid. (Yes, the NHL’s leading scorer could still play. Crazy.)
While the competition will be parsed from beginning to end, there is always some discussion surrounding those who’ve already not made the cut: the selection camp snubs. Here’s a look at nine players who could’ve been there, but were—kinda surprisingly—passed over. (Thanks to Prospect-Stats.com for some help.)
9. Maxime Fortier, W, Halifax Mooseheads
The QMJHL’s leading scorer wasn’t even drafted last year and might be something of a flavour of the week pick, but there’s no doubt scouts are watching him closely.
8. Jordan Kyrou, W, Sarnia Sting
A dynamic playmaker with 24 of his 34 points so far coming at 5-on-5. He had eight points at the under-18s last season and will have a shot at next year’s team.
7. Mitchell Vande Sompel, D, Oshawa Generals
Not the biggest blueliner going, but pretty dynamic offensively. He’s played in two CIBC Canada-Russia Series now and hasn’t been invited to a WJC selection camp yet.
6. Callum Booth, G, Quebec Remparts
Remember him? He’s the kid who stole the No. 1 job with Quebec from Zach Fucale two years ago. He’s third in the Q in 5-on-5 save percentage (.939) and adjusted Goals Saved Above Average (9.39) but has seemingly fallen of Hockey Canada’s radar.
5. Adam Mascherin, W, Kitchener Rangers
A big-time scorer who would have had ‘Top 10’ written all over him if he were 6-foot-1 instead of 5-foot-9. He’s clocking a 1.79 P/G mark right now, sixth in the OHL.
4. Givani Smith, W, Guelph Storm<
Not the biggest scorer, but he’s man strong and plays really heavy. It’s possible the Hockey Canada braintrust decided it didn’t need his style, which lends itself to penalties in IIHF play.
3. Tyler Benson, W, Vancouver Giants
Benson was hyped as a potential No. 1 NHL pick at 15 and turned down an opportunity to apply for CHL exceptional status, but has seen his stock hurt by a string of injuries the past couple seasons. A 200-foot type, the Oilers second-rounder was the MVP of Game 2 of the Canada-Russia Series.
2. Logan Stanley
Unlike Vande Sompel, he actually is the biggest of defenceman. The 6-foot-7, 230-ish lb. behemoth went 18th overall to Winnipeg in June. He had a pretty good look at camp, but won’t get any look at this one.
Follow Jeff Marek’s 2017 NHL Draft Rankings all season.
1. Cliff Pu, C, London Knights
He broke out at the MasterCard Memorial Cup in May as a two-way dynamo. Now, after riding shotgun to Marner, Christian Dvorak and Matthew Tkachuk last season, Pu is showing everyone what he’s capable of with more ice time. He’s fifth in OHL scoring overall and No. 3 in 5-on-5 primary points.