To the surprise of no one, Gordie McKnuckles made the team (may or may not be his real name)

It’s official! Team Canada’s World Junior team has been selected, and all it took was the public humiliation of a dozen-plus hopefuls on national TV. A small price to pay, amirite? Below, we’ll look at the finalized roster position by position, and what it means for Canada’s chances. This may shock you, but the team is quite good.

But first, let’s note that the format of team selection is stupid. Here’s a string of Don Cherry quotes, whom I agree with:

Holy shit that’s the Don Cherriest tweet Don Cherry has ever tweeted. The “y” nickname, the implication that being from an Ontario town makes you a better person…the works, really. Moving on.

 

Aside from the bluntness of the word “failures,” he’s so, so right. They brought 37 players to a three day camp and had to cut a third of them, down to 23. I know part of it is the honour of being invited for the kids, but I’m not sure if that’s really better than a phone call to them with the message “look, you were close, you’re on our radar.” The throngs of media waiting to interview 18 year olds who just experienced the worst hockey heartbreak of their life is insane. I mean, the kids will be fine and all, just, geez – 37? What a mind-fuck.

Indeed. BUT ANYWAY. Enough about the guys who didn’t make it. Let’s talk about those that did.

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GOALTENDERS


BirthdateHometown2012-13 TeamDraft Status
11/07/93Richmond Hill, ONOwen Sound (OHL)STL 2011
03/05/94Mississauga, ONSaginaw (OHL)DET 2012
21/12/93Toronto, ONBelleville (OHL)BOS 2012

Player
Jordan Binnington
Jake Paterson Malcolm Subban

 

The lone cut in the crease was Laurent Brossoit, which comes as a bit of a surprise to some. On Wednesday I wrote about Brossoit and speculated he would end up in the third spot, which would relegate him to the stands, but still keep him with the club. He has a lot of big game experience, and despite his inconsistency, is excellent when he’s hot. That said, if you’re going to bring an extra goalie along who’s not going to play, you might as well bring the young buck to expose him to the pressure and the experience, so next year he’s not blown away if he’s in a position to actually play. It doesn’t hurt Paterson that he was a rock in camp, so credit where credit is due on that. Binnington outperformed the team’s expected starter in Subban, who didn’t exactly shine over the past few days, but he didn’t have to. His performance over the past two years is what has him in prime position, and in all likelihood he’ll still be the man between the pipes when the puck drops on the 26th.

DEFENCE


BirthdateHometown2012-13 TeamDraft Status
17/06/93Toronto, ONNiagara (OHL)BOS 2011
10/03/93Kingston, ONLondon (OHL)PIT 2011
31/03/93Aurora, ONKitchener (OHL)CAR 2011
29/07/93Terrebonne, QCB-Boisbriand (QMJHL)DET 2011
24/01/94West Vancouver, BCEdmonton (WHL)NYI 2012
09/03/94West Vancouver, BCMoose Jaw (WHL)TOR 2012
12/03/93Burnaby, BCPortland (WHL)CGY 2011

Player
Dougie Hamilton*
Scott Harrington* Ryan Murphy Xavier Ouellet Griffin Reinhart Morgan Rielly Tyler Wotherspoon

 

Holy shit, look at that group of d-men. Our back end, she is okay, Canada. First, a random thought: we’re really doing the “Dougie” thing for Hamilton, eh? He hasn’t called this off yet? I mean, I know some Canadian stereotypes are born from reality, but we just can’t do this to ourselves. It’s too much. “Atta guy Dougie! Way to go, eh, Hammer? Way to maple syrup out there!” Anywho, “Dougie” and Scottie Harrington were always locks, being that they’re returning players and more than deserving. Most are also unsurprised to see Morgan Rielly and Griffin Reinhart on the team, a couple of top-5 picks in last year’s entry draft who could potentially be NHLers if and when the lockout ends. The other four defenseman combine to round out a big, mobile group, and will find themselves battling for the remaining minutes, which is a fantastic position for Canada to be in. This is Canada’s biggest strength.

FORWARDS


BirthdateHometown2012-13 TeamDraft Status
04/09/93Toronto, ONBarrie (OHL)BOS 2011
24/02/93Victoriaville, QCVictoriaville (QMJHL)CHI 2011
27/03/95Ste-Agathe, QCHalifax (QMJHL)2013
04/06/93Prevost, QCSaint John (QMJHL)FLA 2011
24/06/94Boisbriand, QCChicoutimi (QMJHL)MTL 2012
15/06/93Dorchester, ONOshawa (OHL)CBJ 2011
10/07/93Regina, SKKamloops (WHL)Undrafted
01/09/95Halifax, NSHalifax (QMJHL)2013
12/04/93Burnaby, BCOklahoma City (AHL)EDM 2011
05/02/93Airdrie, ABPortland (WHL)STL 2011
01/07/93Orangeville, ONNiagara (OHL)DAL 2011
15/03/93Kitchener, ONBarrie (OHL)WPG 2011
11/07/93Mississauga, ONNiagara (OHL)NYI 2011

Player
Anthony Camara
Phillip Danault Jonathan Drouin Jonathan Huberdeau* Charles Hudon Boone Jenner* J.C. Lipon Nathan MacKinnon Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Ty Rattie Brett Ritchie Mark Scheifele* Ryan Strome*

 

* – Returning member from 2012 team Head coach Steve Spott made one thing clear during the interview process: he wanted to pick a team that could skate that was infused with a little bit of that “Canadian grit.” I put that in digital air quotes (if there’s such a thing), because it’s sort of become a joke with Canadian hockey. We used to overlook genuinely talented players in the interest of making sure we had a “grind line,” for years. How wrong-headed is that? Still, for all the joking about it, it is something that’s instilled in most kids growing up playing puck here – you’re expected to play tough, coaches want guys who don’t back down, and want guys with that “sandpaper.” The men in charge did a nice job of finding that plus talent, keeping young guys like McKinnon and Drouin around (both of whom can wheel), while adding some good size dudes who aren’t afraid to muck it up in the corners. Hell, Huberdeau will take down a linesman if his switch gets flipped. Closing: It’s really tough to overstate the value of a great blueline, and what it can do for your club. It’s infuriating playing a team when there never seems to be any room, isn’t any major breakdowns to take advantage of, and you’re playing in your own end because they move the puck out of their zone so well. When you do get a real opportunity after playing against that for awhile, the panic and “holy shit we need this” pressure doesn’t help either. From a forward standpoint, our most talented players will have every opportunity to shine thanks to the blueline’s ability to move the puck up the ice. It’s a dream playing with someone who doesn’t feel the need to dust the thing off before whipping it up to you. It just gives forwards more time to get solid possession, get their heads up and think, rather than getting it at the last second and having to make a reactionary play. The only place I’m not comfortable for Canada is in net. Our goalies are good, but it sucks to know that we’re going to be starting the guy who had the worst showing in selection camp. He deserves to be the guy, you’d just prefer for him to be heating up heading into the tourney, not going the other way (another thing Cherry said that I agree with – why start Subban behind Canada’s worst roster in that exhibition game? Those Canadian University dudes are good. Aren’t we trying to build his confidence?). It’s always an uneasy feeling when you know that any random shot could go in. You start over-compensating. It’s not that I don’t believe Subban can excel – he’s good, and his D is great – but it’s the one area that makes me a little uncomfortable. All in all though, the prediction is an easy one: Canada wins gold, beating the US in the finals 63-1. Assuming the US gets a lucky one.

***

 

UPDATE: Chris Johnston – AKA “some guy” has the breaking news:

 

Comments (8)

  1. I will now yell “Way To Maple Syrup, Dougie!” at all ice Dogs games

  2. This post does not have enough swooning over Strome, I think.

    And, meh, just wait. The goalie will let in a softy or two, the media will start going wild and the kids will melt down. Then some kid from MIchigan will score a hatty in the finals and Canada will be sad. Again.

    • Heh, it doesn’t even have Strome on the forwards list! I think his name got cut off the end because the table width was too wide for the page layout.

      So, Canada has all the above, plus oh-by-the-way the OHL’s leading scorer.

  3. I totally agree with you Bourne about how frustrating it is to play against good dmen. Want to do a blog post about that? Strategy on playing a team with a solid blueline.

  4. Hey, fantastic layout for this article. Are you a graphic designer?

  5. This article really has “Friday afternoon – can’t wait to leave work” feel.

  6. Your tables done broke. :(

  7. I think I heard in an interview that dougie is dougie because his father is doug.

    I might be wrong, you could google it.

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