The World Junior Summer Showcase kicks off this weekend with the United States, Finland, Canada and Sweden meeting in Kamloops B.C. for a round robin series of games.
Usually held in Plymouth, MI, this year is heading to Canada and should be a fantastic event that showcases many of the players that will represent their respective nations in Vancouver this winter.
The Canucks will be well represented for this event, which means that fans will be particularly interested this season. With that in mind, we can take a quick look at the Canucks prospects that will be there and the schedule of games.
The full game schedule is as follows:
|Monday, July 30|
|4:00 PM PT||USA Blue||Sweden|
|7:00 PM PT||USA White||Finland|
|Tuesday, July 31|
|1:00 PM PT||Sweden||Finland|
|4:00 PM PT||Canada White||USA Blue|
|7:30 PM PT||Canada Red||USA White|
|Thursday, Aug 2|
|1:00 PM PT||USA||Sweden|
|6:00 PM PT||Canada||Finland|
|Friday, Aug 3|
|1:00 PM PT||USA||Finland|
|6:00 PM PT||Canada||Sweden|
|Saturday, Aug 4|
|2:00 PM PT||Canada||USA|
|5:00 PM PT||Finland||Sweden|
At this moment – the games between August 2nd to 4th are being broadcast on TSN.
There are practices over the weekend of July 28th and 29th.
The Canucks will be represented by two Canadian players this summer.
Michael DiPietro will be heading into camp as the leading contender to be the starting goaltender for Canada this year. The real battle will be the backup position behind the Canucks prospect. The Canucks 2017 3rd round pick was the final goalie cut for the 2018 tournament and will look to make a good impression this summer before headlining the Canucks goaltenders at Young Stars in Penticton.
He previously represented Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial and U17 World Juniors. He was also on the roster for Canada for the U18’s in 2016 and World Championships in 2018 but did not dress in either.
2018 2nd round pick Jett Woo will also appear for Canada as one of the 12 invites. His combination of physicality, transitional play, and defensive chops allow him to provide a well-rounded game that many of the other invites lack. It will be interesting to see who he gets paired with and how he is used. Woo has shown that he can create offence when afforded the opportunity, but his neutral zone play is what is likely the most attractive addition to the team. Could see him being very effective with someone like Ty Smith.
Woo represented Canada at the U17 WHC and U18 World Juniors in 2017. He also wore the Canadian colours at the Ivan Hlinka to start last season.
At this time, we don’t know if DiPietro or Woo will be playing for Canada Red or White in the first games.
The top defensive prospect in the organization, Quinn Hughes will be representing the United States.
If he is able to do so, he will be on the team this winter. It really just depends on what the Canucks plan to do with the Hughes. If he goes back to the NCAA, he will be wearing the red, white, and blue. If he is signed, it will depend on where he is playing and if the organization wants to loan him out.
Hughes has been a regular for the United States over the last few years including the U17’s, U18’s, U20’s and World Championships.
Aside from the prospect scrimmage, this will be the first chance that fans get to see him in game action since being selected by the Canucks this past June.
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) July 19, 2018
Hughes was named to Team USA White for the first part of the tournament.
2018 5th round pick Toni Utunen was named to the Finnish roster for the World Junior Summer Showcase.
If there has been an international event for his age group over the last few years, Utunen has been there including being the the captain of the Finnish squad at the U18’s this past April.
It will be interesting to see what role he gets at this camp as the Finn’s played an exhibition game against the Czechs earlier today and he was on the third pairing. He was effective with his smart transitional and defensive play.
Depending on who is available to Finland in December, Utunen could easily slide into a depth role as an 18 year-old.
When viewing these games, it is important to remember that it is the middle of summer and there is still so much hockey left to be played before the real thing in December. But it’s always great to see the best players gather and play against each other while wearing their respective countries colours.