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2018 World Junior Showcase: Thursday’s start times, TV schedule, and open thread

A few Canadiens prospects are in action as some of the top nations in the world provide a preview of this winter’s WJC.

2018 NHL Draft - Portraits Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Many of the world’s best young hockey talents have convened in Kamloops this week to participate in the World Junior Showcase. The friendly tournament allows coaching staffs to evaluate a few of the players who could take spots on their national teams for the World Junior Hockey Championship, which gets under way in late December.

Canada is playing host to teams from Sweden, Finland, and the United States. The North American sides used the first few days of the camp to whittle their split-squad rosters down to a single club for the games going forward.

Despite the Montreal Canadiens having several players who were eligible to play, and who potentially will make the final roster when the WJC begins, a handful will not be playing. Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Jesse Ylönen didn’t make the trip for Finland, Josh Brook is still recovering from injury and not playing for Canada, while Ryan Poehling had surgery and is out of game action, though still practising with the US team.

United States vs. Sweden

Puck drop: 4:00 PM EDT / 1:00 PM PDT
In Canada: TSN1, TSN3
Online: TSN Direct

You will be able to watch newly drafted centreman Jacob Olofsson (#18) for Sweden, as he takes on US goaltender Cayden Primeau (#31). Olofsson had a goal on Tuesday versus Finland, while Primeau’s first action was a 5-2 victory over Finland on Monday night. The US has four goaltenders to scrutinize over the next three days, and Primeau has a chance to make his case to be on the team come December.

Canada vs. Finland

Puck drop: 9:00 PM EDT / 6:00 PM PDT
In Canada: TSN2
Online: TSN Direct

While you won’t see any Habs prospects, there is a chance to see some of the top players a few fo them will play alongside at the winter’s under-20 tournament.

One of the more intriguing players will be 2001-born Kaapo Kakko, who projects to be one of the first players selected at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, along with Jack Hughes, who made the USA roster after just turning 17 a few months ago.