Team Canada makes first cuts to World Junior team

Dec 14 2018, 5:28 pm


The first axe has fallen on Canada’s World Junior hopefuls.

Team Canada head coach Tim Hunter made the first four cuts to his roster of 34 players following Thursday’s exhibition game in Victoria against U Sports All-Stars, as he inches closer to the 22-man roster needed for the start of the tournament.

Defencemen Calen Addison (Lethbridge, WHL) and Cameron Crotty (Boston University, NCAA) were both let go, as were forwards Ty Dellandrea (Flint, OHL) and Raphael Lavoie  (Halifax, QMJHL).

Addison, a second-round pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins, is eligible to return next year. So is Lavoie, who is expected to be a first-round pick at the draft in Vancouver in June. Dellandrea, a 13th overall draft pick by Dallas, was the biggest name cut. Crotty was a third-round pick of the Arizona Coyotes in 2017.

Canada is left with 17 forwards, 10 defencemen, and three goalies. With eight cuts left to come, they’ll let go one goalie and seven more skaters.

Some of those decisions could be made for them, via injury.

Alex Formenton, one of two returnees from last year’s roster, was injured during Wednesday’s exhibition clash against U Sports. He was seen with a knee brace and crutches on Thursday, though the severity of his injury is not yet known.

Canada won their first exhibition game 3-2 against U Sports on Wednesday, but dropped Thursday’s game 5-3.

Two of Canada’s most promising forwards are banged up. Jaret Anderson-Dolan, who suited up for five games with the LA Kings this season, has an injured wrist and hasn’t participated in either exhibition game yet. Neither has Gabriel Vilardi, an 11th overall pick by the Kings in June, who is recovering from an injured back.

Both appear to be nearing a return though.

If Anderson-Dolan, Vilardi, and Formenton can get healthy, they’ll be on the team.

While the goal is to pare down the team well in advance of the tournament opener on December 26, Canada can wait until the eve of the tournament to finalize their roster.

Seven players with ties to Canadian NHL teams are still in camp, including goaltenders Michael DiPietro (Vancouver Canucks) and Ian Scott (Toronto Maple Leafs), defencemen Jacob Bernard-Docker (Ottawa Senators), Evan Bouchard (Edmonton Oilers), and Josh Brook (Montreal Canadiens), as well as forwards Formenton (Ottawa Senators) and Nick Suzuki (Montreal Canadiens).

The full list of players remaining in camp include:

Player Position Current Team
Michael DiPietro Goaltender Windsor (OHL)
Ian Scott Goaltender Prince Albert (WHL)
Matthew Villalta Goaltender Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
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)
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)
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)
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)
See also