Youngblood Talks WJC – Team Canada

Dean Youngblood

2015-12-24

It’s finally here! No, not Christmas! I’m talking about the World Junior Championships – the best annual hockey competition on the planet. The World Juniors offers a time for people at all levels to invest in hope. The hope that their country’s youngsters lead their nation to hockey supremacy. The hope from players that they’ll live their lifelong dream of sending their country mates into a frenzy after winning the WJC title. The hope from NHL organizations that, eventually, these young budding stars will lead their franchises into Stanley Cup contention. It’s a tournament, a short one at that, where every shift matters and that drives up the passion and importance of every single game, every single shift, every single puck touch and of course every single goal. That passion creates an atmosphere that is unmatched in most sports and it’s the sole reason why it’s my personal favourite hockey event of the year.

With that said, let’s take a look at key players participating at the 2016 World Junior Championships in Helsinki, Finland.

Team Canada

Outside of the Michael Dal Colle and Jakob Chychrun cuts, the process of selecting Team Canada’s entry into the 2016 World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland was rather quiet. Normally there always seems to be an uproar about “Player X” being released from camp.

Michael Dal Colle, New York Islanders 5th overall selection in 2014, was cut. Not surprising since the big scoring winger hasn’t found his groove after leading his Oshawa Generals to the Mastercard Memorial Cup Championship last season. Look for Dal Colle to be traded to an OHL contender once the Holiday trade freeze is lifted. It will be interesting to see if he gets rejuvenated once he lands on his new team because a change of scenery should do him good.

Jakob Chychrun (2016 NHL Draft) was released from Hockey Canada’s camp prior to the team heading overseas. It was expected that the dual-citizen (USA/Canada) was going to push for a spot on the team but that just didn’t work into Hockey Canada’s plans. Surprising? Yes, for me it was most surprising that they didn’t give the young defender a longer look and allow him to play in some meaningful games in Europe. However, Canada’s blue line is as deep as it’s ever been and it was going to be challenging for C