Canada’s choice camp forward of the World Junior Championship has wrapped up. Listed below are the most important takeaways from the four-day gathering in Oakville, Ont.Jamie Drysdale|Steven Ellis/The Hockey NewsIt got here and went: Canada’s world-junior choice camp is full and we’re inching nearer to figuring out what the ultimate workforce will seem like.
Hockey Canada held base at Sixteen Mile Sports activities Complicated in Oakville, Ont., over 4 days, slimming the roster from 31 to 24 earlier than taking off to the Czech Republic. Canada performed two video games in opposition to the U Sports activities selects workforce, a bunch made up of one of the best Canadian college hockey gamers, with most being distinguished CHL gamers sooner or later. The groups cut up the sequence, as usually is the case, with Canada juggling strains round to see what labored and what didn’t.
Canada nonetheless has no less than one lower to make, with the potential for 2 extra if the workforce will get some assist from the NHL. With the stage set for a Euro Journey, let’s check out the most important takeaways from the camp in Oakville:
Quinton Byfield is the actual deal
There’s no means Byfield misses the ultimate roster. Within the mini-scrimmage on Tuesday, he was outmuscling gamers, successful battles and making performs across the web. He wasn’t getting carried by Nolan Foote or Dylan Cozens on the primary line – Byfield was the one creating the alternatives. With Alexis Lafreniere lacking motion because of an undisclosed damage, Byfield took middle stage and ran with it. He had an help and got here near scoring twice within the first sport in opposition to U Sports activities however by way of two-way play, Byfield was among the many greatest on the workforce. Who cares if he’s 17? He’s going to make an affect for Canada.
The goaltending battle isn’t that a lot clearer
Nicely, we entered camp with questions as to what Canada would do with the 4 goaltenders it introduced and we’re not that a lot nearer to discovering out who’ll be the starter. Nico Daws rode his scorching hand and seemed particularly good late in Wednesday’s sport, combating off a late-game problem by U Sports activities with a few highlight-reel stops. Joel Hofer additionally stood out within the opening sport, holding Canada within the hunt regardless of an early flurry from the older, extra skilled U Sports activities roster. Olivier Rodrigue was Canada’s greatest goaltender on Thursday, together with a couple of strong stops on the 10 photographs he confronted in 30 minutes of play. The odd man out was Hunter Jones, who, regardless of an incredible 12 months with OHL Peterborough and a unbelievable effort on the CIBC Canada Russia Sequence, completed with a four.14 goals-against common and a .818 save proportion – final in each classes, albeit in a small pattern measurement.
Who’s the favourite in web? Proper now, that’s onerous to inform, so it’ll all come right down to how the exhibition contests in opposition to Switzerland and Finland go. If the workforce desires to go together with the most popular hand, Daws needs to be checked out as the favourite, but when no one else stands out, Rodrigue might get it based mostly on his historical past with Hockey Canada at numerous different ranges.
Canada believes in Jamie Drysdale, and that’s a very good factor
Canada doesn’t have a historical past of bringing underage defensemen to the world juniors, so Drysdale’s inclusion was a little bit of shock regardless of how properly he performed in camp. Exterior of Bowen Byram, Drysdale was Canada’s most noticeable defenseman – in a great way – to the purpose the place he was outperforming ‘D’ companions Thomas Harley and Calen Addison. As different nations – most notably, Finland and Sweden – have embraced youthful expertise on the World Junior Championship in recent times, bringing somebody like Drysdale over a 19-year-old like Peter Diliberatore or a power-play muncher like Harley is a press release. Drysdale was absolutely deserving of a spot, however the line of pondering has usually been to take the extra skilled possibility. Drysdale’s inclusion doesn’t match that narrative, however there’s a purpose he’s the highest defensive prospect for the 2020 NHL draft.
No love for the NCAA
Of Canada’s 31-man camp roster, 4 gamers got here from the NCAA. Amongst them, solely defenseman Jacob Bernard-Docker made it out in good standing, however he was a lock to start with. Alex Newhook’s exclusion was stunning: he scored Canada’s solely aim on Thursday and will have been credited for tipping in Dilberatore’s shot on Wednesday, making him certainly one of Canada’s extra harmful scoring threats. Was he adequate to be on the ultimate roster? Sure. Is Canada worse off with out him? No, however that’s as a result of with Canada’s abundance of gifted centermen, the spots on each wings turned more durable to snag. Newhook was a sufferer of the numbers sport, however he’ll be a top-six risk subsequent 12 months when the 2021 WJC heads to western Canada. Dylan Holloway additionally had some good moments and was considered certainly one of Canada’s hardest-working forwards, however with Byfield, Lafreniere, Connor McMichael and Liam Foudy on the left aspect already, there merely wasn’t room for him. Once more, we’ll see Holloway subsequent 12 months. Diliberatore’s scratch on Thursday was stunning when you think about he was the one participant scratched over the 2 days to get the boot, however he didn’t play his means onto the workforce, both. He wasn’t unhealthy, however he simply didn’t stand out.
Two extra NHL inclusions might shake issues up
Halfway by means of Thursday’s sport, the information broke that Arizona Coyotes middle Barrett Hayton would be part of the workforce in Europe, identical to AHLer Joe Veleno will do subsequent week. That leaves Canada ready on the standing of two different stars: middle Kirby Dach and defenseman Noah Dobson. Dach seemed like a lock to remain within the NHL by mid-November however he hasn’t discovered the scoresheet previously 11 video games. Would he profit becoming a member of a workforce with a optimistic tradition and an opportunity at a medal over taking part in fourth-line minutes with Ryan Carpenter and Alex Nylander? That’s what the Chicago Blackhawks must determine within the subsequent few days, and Canada will definitely make room for him. Similar goes for the New York Islanders and Dobson. Dobson has performed in simply 9 of the Islanders’ 30 video games with a median ice time of 13:44. He’s too good to return to the QMJHL, however New York should see some worth in holding him up with professional gamers at this level. Dobson can be a unbelievable two-way addition for Canada, however it might come on the expense of dropping somebody like Drysdale. In the long run, that’s a worthy sacrifice to make, particularly since Dobson’s damaged stick led to Finland eliminating Canada on the event final 12 months, one thing Dobson will need to get revenge for.
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Tags: prospects, world junior championshipConnect: In regards to the AuthorSteven EllisSteven Ellis is a Digital Content material Producer for The Hockey Information. He spends his free time listening to music you would not like and watches obnoxiously-long motor races.