Elias Pettersson looks to keep his torrid pace going for Team Sweden at the upcoming WJHC
Just a quick one today, folks… but you know what they say, sometimes the best things in life come in small packages.
…Although I’m pretty sure Johnny Gaudreau started that phrase.
My esteemed colleagues, Peter Harling and Pat Quinn did a great job of outlining the recently released World Junior training camp rosters from a host of teams.
Instead of repeating what they said, I figured I would take a crack at projecting the Canadian’s final roster for you all.
This is an experiment fraught with pitfalls as there will surely be an injury or three that occurs between now and Boxing Day, as well as a surprise cut and on the flip side, a player or two who beats the odds and gets to wear their nation’s sweater this holiday season.
- Carter Hart
- Michael DiPietro
- Colton Point
Dante Fabbro Kale Clague
Dennis Cholowksi Cale Makar
Jake Bean Cal Foote
Sam Steel – Michael McLeod – Jordan Kyrou
Jonah Gadjovich – Cody Glass – Nick Suzuki
Dillon Dube – Robert Thomas – Taylor Raddysh
Alex Formenton – Brett Howden – Boris Katchouk
P.S. – just like life, don’t take the lines too seriously… you’ll never get out alive.
I mentioned on Twitter yesterday that even though the Canadians invited a very large group to camp, some wildly talented players were going to be left off. That was case.
Most people pointed at Owen Tippett, who was playing in the NHL not too long ago, Cliff Pu, Michael Rasmussen, Adam Mascherin… but for my money, the player who deserved the invite the most, was Victoria Royals’ captain and Calgary Flames’ pick, Matthew Phillips.
What Phillips lacks in size (and boy do I mean lack – he stands 5’7 and weighs in a 141lbs), he more than makes up for in skill and smarts.
The 19-year-old forward has scored 71 goals in his last 101 WHL contests and has a career point-per-game average of 1.23 in 175 career games. He was very solid at the Summer Showcase and even potted a goal during the recent Canada-Russia Super Series.
In my opinion, he should’ve been given a chance at camp and could have been the absolute perfect 13th forward who can replace an injured top sixer when the inevitable injury arises.
C'est la vie.
I’ve been harping on this most weeks, but people truly need to start getting out of their seats to acquire Elias Pettersson in keeper leagues.
The recently-turned 19-year-old is absolutely unconscious right now. With four more assists during Thursday’s 5-4 win over Farjestad BK, he extended his lead atop the SHL to three points. He has points in nine of the last 10, 13 of the last 15 and 16 of the last 19 games.
His 11 goals and 35 points in 25 games is… ridiculous. That’s a 1.40 point-per-game average which firmly sits second all-time for U20 players inching closer to Kent Nilsson’s 1.50 mark set during the 1975-76 campaign and barring injury, he’s on track to finish the season with more points than any U20 player ever.
At this point, there’s really not much reason to believe he isn’t the best fantasy prospect outside of the NHL and is the odds-on-favourite to lead Team Sweden to the medal rounds and push for tournament MVP at the upcoming World Junior Championships.
It sure looks like we’re going to have a fun race for the Calder Memorial Trophy this season in the NHL. In what appeared to be something of a “down class” after being treated to the likes of Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, etc… Brock Boeser, Mathew Barzal and Clayton Keller are making this year’s version of the freshman class one to watch.
Currently, Barzal leads the way with 27 points in 28 games, but Boeser is nipping at his heels and holds the edge in points-per-game.
Any other season, Charlie McAvoy would be garnering a ton more support as he has been eating up minutes like a hungry, 20-year-old version of Ryan Suter but it's hard to get attention away from the gaudy totals his peers are putting up. McAvoy may find himself in a position to edge out a third-place finish, but this class has all the looks of a high-scoring forward taking home the prize.
Don't count out Kyle Connor just yet either. The Jets' rookie is locked on the top line and top power play next to Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler and is gaining ground after starting his season in the American league. He's arguably in the best spot of any first year player, has a tremendous history of lofty production and doesn't appear to be slowing down – kind of the opposite of what we've seen from Keller production wise
Like I said, it'll be a fun race right until game 82.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading and feel free to follow me on Twitter @CrazyJoeDavola3 where the hockey takes are always coming in hot.