Team Canada reveals selection camp roster for World Juniors

Dec 4 2018, 2:31 am

With just 23 days to go before the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship kicks off in Vancouver and Victoria, we now know the names of the players in the running to represent Canada.

Hockey Canada has revealed a list of 34 players who will make up the National Junior Selection Camp, taking place December 11-14 in Victoria.

Head coach Tim Hunter will have to trim his roster to 23 by the end of camp, in time for exhibition tune-up games, which begin on December 19.

“Our evaluation process through summer camp, the CHL season, Canada-Russia Series, and now selection camp allows us to assess and assemble the top Canadian players to represent our country,” said Shawn Bullock, Hockey Canada’s director of men’s national teams. “Our final decisions will be difficult ones, but we couldn’t be more excited to gather in Victoria and begin the road to representing Canada in Vancouver.”

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Local hockey fans will be happy to see that Michael DiPietro — the favourite to land the starting goalie spot — has been named to the roster. The final goalie cut from last year’s team, the 19-year-old Canucks draft pick is enjoying another strong season with the Windsor Spitfires in the OHL.

The news wasn’t so good for Jett Woo, Vancouver’s second-round draft pick earlier this year. A long shot to make it anyway, the 18-year-old was not chosen for camp.

For the first time in a long time, not a single BC-born player made the preliminary roster.

Other Canadian NHL teams with prospects named to the roster include goaltender Ian Scott (Toronto Maple Leafs), defencemen Jacob Bernard-Docker (Ottawa Senators), Evan Bouchard (Edmonton Oilers), and Josh Brook (Montreal Canadiens), as well as forwards Alex Formenton (Ottawa Senators) and Nick Suzuki (Montreal Canadiens).

A total of 16 first-round draft picks were named to the Selection Camp. Just two players – forwards Brett Leason and Raphael Lavoie – are eligible for next year’s draft, taking place at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

Hockey Canada’s list contained one 17-year-old, prospect Alexis Lafreniere, who is an early favourite to go first overall in 2020. If he makes Team Canada, he’ll be the first since Connor McDavid to do it as a 17-year-old.

Hunter has a considerable amount of players with NHL experience to choose from, despite the fact that junior-aged prospects Robert Thomas (St Louis Blues) and Michael Rasmussen (Detroit Red Wings) were not released by their respective NHL teams. Though unlikely, those teams can change their mind up until December 19.

Gabriel Vilardi, who was not sent back to junior this season and is currently on a conditioning stint with the AHL’s Ontario Reign, was loaned to Team Canada by the Los Angeles Kings.

Bouchard (Edmonton Oilers), Formenton (Ottawa Senators), Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Los Angles Kings), and Maxime Comtois (Anaheim Ducks) have all appeared in NHL games this season. Owen Tippett (Florida Panthers) appeared in seven NHL games last season.

Formenton and Comtois are the lone returnees from last year’s gold medal winning team.

Here’s Team Canada’s full Selection Camp roster:

Player Position Current Team
Michael DiPietro Goaltender Windsor (OHL)
Ian Scott Goaltender Prince Albert (WHL)
Matthew Villalta Goaltender Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
Calen Addison Defence Lethbridge (WHL)
Nicolas Beaudin Defence Drummondville (QMJHL)
Jacob Bernard-Docker Defence University of North Dakota (NCHC)
Evan Bouchard Defence London (OHL)
Josh Brook Defence Moose Jaw (WHL)
Cameron Crotty Defence Boston University (HE)
Noah Dobson Defence Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
Pierre-Olivier Joseph Defence Charlottetown (QMJHL)
Jared McIsaac Defence Halifax (QMJHL)
Ian Mitchell Defence University of Denver (NCHC)
Markus Phillips Defence Owen Sound (OHL)
Ty Smith Defence Spokane (WHL)
Jaret Anderson-Dolan Forward Spokane (WHL)
Shane Bowers Forward Boston University (HE)
Maxime Comtois Forward Drummondville (QMJHL)
Ty Dellandrea Forward Flint (OHL)
MacKenzie Entwistle Forward Hamilton (OHL)
Alex Formenton Forward London (OHL)
Liam Foudy Forward London (OHL)
Morgan Frost Forward Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
Cody Glass Forward Portland (WHL)
Barrett Hayton Forward Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
Alexis Lafrenière Forward Rimouski (QMJHL)
Raphaël Lavoie Forward Halifax (QMJHL)
Brett Leason Forward Prince Albert (WHL)
Isaac Ratcliffe Forward Guelph (OHL)
Jack Studnicka Forward Oshawa (OHL)
Nick Suzuki Forward Owen Sound (OHL)
Owen Tippett Forward Mississauga (OHL)
Joe Veleno Forward Drummondville (QMJHL)
Gabe Vilardi Forward Los Angeles (NHL)

Canada’s pre-tournament schedule begins December 19 and 21 with games against Switzerland and Slovakia in Victoria. Their lone exhibition game in Vancouver is December 23 against Finland.

The tournament begins for real for Canada against Denmark on December 26. The gold medal game is scheduled for January 5.

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