2018 World Junior Hockey Championship: Team Canada preview & roster
Team Canada are looking to turn last year’s silver into gold.
Last year, Team Canada made it all the way to a nail-bitter of a World Junior Hockey Championship Final. In the final round, they went up against their long-time rival, Team USA. They tied it up during regulation, pushing on to overtime and into a shootout.
It was Nicolas Roy who stepped up to take the last shot of the shootout. He tried to deke Team USA goaltender Tyler Parsons, but the puck got away from him and instead of finding the back of the net, found Parsons’ pad instead. It was a heartbreaker when Team Canada was awarded a silver medal for the 41st World Junior tournament.
Team Canada final roster
|#||Player||Position||League||Current team (NHL)|
|31||Carter Hart||G||WHL||Everett Silvertips (PHI)|
|1||Colton Point||G||NCAA||Colgate University (DAL)|
|2||Jake Bean||D||WHL||Calgary Hitmen (CAR)|
|10||Kale Clague||D||WHL||Brandon Wheat Kings (LAK)|
|8||Dante Fabbro||D||NCAA||Boston University (NSH)|
|6||Cal Foote||D||WHL||Kelowna Rocket (TBL)|
|7||Cale Makar||D||NCAA||UMass (COL)|
|28||Victor Mete||D||NHL||Montreal Canadiens|
|3||Conor Timmins||D||OHL||Sault Ste. Marie Grehounds (COL)|
|19||Drake Batherson||F||QMJHL||Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (OTT)|
|14||Maxime Comtois||F||QMJHL||Victoriaville Tigres (ANA)|
|9||Dillon Dube||F||WHL||Kelowna Rocket (CGY)|
|24||Alex Formenton||F||OHL||London Knights (OTT)|
|11||Jonah Gadjovich||F||OHL||Owen Sound Attack (VAN)|
|21||Brett Howden||F||WHL||Moose Jaw Warriors (TBL)|
|12||Boris Katchouk||F||OHL||Sault Ste. Marie Grehounds (TBL)|
|25||Jordan Kyrou||F||OHL||Sarnia Sting (STL)|
|20||Michael McLeod||F||OHL||Mississauga Steelheads (NJD)|
|16||Taylor Raddysh||F||OHL||Erie Otters (TBL)|
|23||Sam Steel||F||WHL||Regina Pats (ANA)|
|17||Tyler Steenbergen||F||WHL||Swift Current Broncos (ARI)|
|27||Robert Thomas||F||OHL||London Knights (STL)|
On paper it looks like coach Dominique Ducharme has all his bases covered with a well-rounded team. But the talent on the blue line runs extra deep. What they’re lacking in size they make up for with skillful puck-moving.
They managed to scoop up a, NHLer, Victor Mete of the Montreal Canadiens (who was cut from the team last year), and these defencemen can do more than just help their goalie out. They can rack up the points.
Take point-per-game players like Jake Bean (5G, 22A in 25GP) and Conor Timmins (6G, 28A in 34GP). Not to mention Kale Clague and his whopping 47 points (10G, 37A) in 28 games and Mete’s 27 NHL games with four assists and a +5 rating.
With defence like this, who needs offence?
It’s not a big weakness, but Team Canada is short on elite prospects. Twelve of the 33 players invited to camp were first-round picks and four have already been cut. That being said, they have Mete, who was released from the Canadiens to get the WJC experience and Dillon Dube, a Calgary Flames prospect, who is expected to be a go-to player with his speed and skill.
If Canada is going to challenge for gold, it will be from a team effort, and not from just a few game-changers turning the tide.
There’s a lot of confidence in Canada’s goaltending for this tournament. Carter Hart will likely see most of the action, and he’s been riding high with the Everett Silvertips so far this season, boasting a 13-3-1 record, 1.32 GAA and .961 save percentage. Backing him is 6’4” Colton Point and his 1.90 GAA and .938 save percentage with Colgate University.
Second place is nothing to sniff at, but after last year’s disappointing shootout loss, Team Canada is looking to turn that silver into gold.