With five, “unfit to play” releases on Tuesday and seven more cuts Thursday morning, 34 players remain in Hockey Canada’s world junior selection camp.
If one thing is for certain, it’s the goaltending position. London’s Brett Brochu and Saginaw’s Tristan Lennox were part of Thursday morning’s cuts, leaving Prince George’s Taylor Gauthier, Northeastern’s Devon Levi and Kamloops’ Dylan Garand as Canada’s netminding trio.
Based on numbers presented earlier in camp, three more cuts will be made to get to eight defencemen, while six more forwards will be released to complete the 25-man roster. These cuts are expected to be made Friday morning as Team Canada looks to enter the Edmonton bubble on Sunday.
You can’t help but feel for the players who have and will be sent home, especially after they had to be isolated in their rooms for 14 days when Canada paused camp due to positive tests, and then given just one or two days to try and make the team after that. Like most everything else in 2020, it’s not fair. “It is what it is,” a common phrase during the pandemic, definitely applies here.
Here’s how I see the final roster shaping up after the final cuts are made, presented as projected defence pairs and line combinations. Remember, 22 players dress for games:
Bowen Byram – Jamie Drysdale
Thomas Harley – Braden Schneider
Kaiden Guhle – Justin Barron
Jordan Spence – Kaedan Korczak
Connor McMichael – Dylan Cozens – Kirby Dach
Peyton Krebs – Quinton Byfield – Graeme Clarke
Dylan Holloway – Alex Newhook – Jakob Pelletier
Connor Zary – Dawson Mercer – Philip Tomasino
Cole Perfetti, Jameson Rees