Whether you are a prospect enthusiast or a casual hockey fan, the annual World Junior Hockey Championship is one of the most anticipated events of the season. Not only does it bring a plethora of jaw-dropping moments, but it also gives hockey scouts and gungho fantasy goers a chance to bask in the glory of over, or in some cases, under hyping a specific youngster. Too often have we seen top-end talent disappoint, while otherwise “out of the blue” candidates boost their upcoming draft stock or fantasy value with a clutch WJC performance.
Here, the hard-working scouting team at Dobber Prospects breakdown each team’s roster, from line combinations to stand-out players. We kick off with Group A, which consists of Team Canada, Germany, Finland, Czech Republic, and Austria.
It wouldn’t be a World Juniors without some controversial decisions in the Team Canada selection process. Leaving the likes of Brandt Clarke and Matthew Savoie off the selection camp roster came as quite the shock for many in the hockey community, as both seemed like safe invites to camp at the very least. Especially Clarke, given he is not only a right-shot defenceman but arguably would have been the biggest offensive threat from the point on the roster.
Jacob’s Predicted Line Combinations
Although they were invited to camp, Luke Evangelista and Joshua Roy were left off the final roster, despite having tremendous seasons for their respective clubs. Without dwelling too much, it is evident this year, more than ever, that Hockey Canada selected their team with the intention of putting together the correct pieces, rather than an all-star team. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the players that have the privilege of wearing the leaf on their chest this upcoming tournament.
Despite some big names being left off the final roster, this team by no means lacks high-end talent. The projected first line of Cole Perfetti, Shane Wright, and Dylan Guenther is expected to generate tons of offense, as the likely first-overall pick in the upcoming draft (Wright) has two top-10 draft picks – who are both known for their offensive firepower – alongside him. Additionally, a second line of Kent Johnson, Mason McTavish, and Logan Stankoven is capable of being just as dangerous, with McTavish poised to have a massive tournament after his short, yet impressive stint in the NHL this year. If this top six can live up to expectations, Canada should not have an issue producing offense throughout the tournament.
The defense core is not crazy deep, but again, does not lack big names. Owen Power has had himself an insane start to his D+1 campaign with the University of Michigan and is expected to see heavy minutes in all situations. Kaiden Guhle, a rare returnee from last year, is also expected to provide some much-needed experience on the back end. He will be relied upon to play his trademark physical style in order to keep opponents away from the dangerous areas.
A huge positive to this Canadian roster – something