The Canucks could be well represented on Team Canada this year, as three prospects get the call for Team Canada’s Preliminary Roster.
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) December 6, 2017
All three players had attended the World Junior Summer Showcase, so their inclusion today isn’t a huge surprise but a good representation of the Canucks 2017 draft class. With Elias Pettersson being invited by Sweden earlier today, the Canucks first four draft picks from the past June are vying for spots in Buffalo. Add 2016 picks Olli Juolevi and William Lockwood and the Canucks could have up to 6 players representing their country this year.
Jonah Gadjovich has a legitimate shot to crack the roster due to the game he plays and the openness of the LW spots. Very few players at the disposal play the game that Gadjovich does, and no one does it as well as him. The rugged winger is currently on an 8 game point streak and sits third in the entire CHL in shots per game with 5.37 SH/PG. He had a very good summer showcase – his willingness to go to the net is his calling card, but he displayed soft hands and playmaking abilities along the way. I will be very surprised if Gadjovich isn’t there when camp wraps up.
Michael DiPietro looks to be the frontrunner for the backup job for Team Canada. Without a doubt, the net belongs to Carter Hart and the remaining goalies are fighting for the 2nd and 3rd spots, but DiPietro likely has a leg up given his performances at the Summer Showcase and Canada/Russia Series. It also helps that he is the only goalie who is eligible for the 2019 World Juniors here in Vancouver. By having DiPietro at this year’s tournament, it allows him to get his first taste of what to expect before he is the assumed starter next year.
Kole Lind has earned an invite through his fantastic play this season. He was a late add to the Summer Showcase roster and didn’t jump out during the games. But he has gone to Kelowna and been a dominant player for the Rockets. He is just coming back from Mono and there are a few locks on the right wing, so the odds are stacked against him, but if he is able to get his feet under him, there is a chance he could secure a spot on the right side. He did have a good performance at the Canada/Russia series in November and that will have certainly increased his chances.
Owen Tippett not being invited does open a spot on the right side.
No matter what happens over the next month – this year’s World Juniors are going to be exciting for Canucks fans.