12 jun 2017
Canadiens de Montréal
Deuxième équipe préférée
Golden Knights de Vegas
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It's been awhile since I've been on the CapFriendly forums, but with the release of the Canada preliminary roster for the WJC, I'm starting to get the world junior fever again, so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts.
The goaltending is obviously a big question mark for Canada right now. A lot of people seem to think it's Olivier Rodrigue's starting job to lose, but personally I think Nico Daws is being overlooked because he hasn't been drafted yet. If Daws doesn't end up on the team, I think he at least makes the choice very hard.
Ty Smith and Jared McIsaac are both returning players, so I expect them both to be on the team, as well as Bowen Byram. I'm also holding out hope that NYI releases Noah Dobson for the tournament, and he's barely playing in New York as it is, so I think it would be beneficial to him. Jamie Drysdale is tearing it up in his draft year, and I really hope he makes the team and is given lots of PP and offensive zone opportunities. Jacob Bernard-Docker was a late cut last year, and I think he'll be on the squad. Thomas Harley would probably be my pick for #7, barely edging out Calen Addison.
Forward is where the cuts are probably going to be toughest. There were a lot of players I was surprised to see not even get an invite, specifically Philip Tomasino, Samuel Poulin and Brayden Tracey. Jakob Pelletier recently got injured and is going to miss the tournament as well. I'm quite certain Joe Veleno is going to be released for the tournament, and Alexis Lafreniere will definitely have an increased role as a returning member. If I had to project the lineup now, it would look something like:
Which means I'm cutting Dudas, Foudy, Mercer, Perfetti and Zary.
Usually I'm hesitant to put so many draft-eligible players on the team, but it's well-documented how exceptional this draft is. I didn't have to think much about Lafreniere or Byfield, although I did come close to having Foudy on the team ahead of Holloway. The sticking point for Dylan Holloway is how well he's been playing against older competition in Wisconsin , so that should give him a big edge if he makes the team.
Side note: Does anyone who may be more in tune to the Coyotes than I am have any knowledge as to whether Barrett Hayton might be released for the tournament? I think he's been used pretty sparingly so far with Arizona.
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