Canada Sets Roster for World Junior Hockey Championships
Canada announced its roster for the IIHF 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships in Saskatchewan. The team will have six returning players from last year's team as Canada tries to win its sixth consecutive gold medal.
6 players from the Quebec Major Junior League, 8 from the Ontario Hockey League, and 8 from the Western Hockey League will don the red jersey, including Saskatchewan natives Brayden Schenn, Jared Cowen and Jordan Eberle.
Goaltenders Jake Allen and Martin Jones will hold the fort with Allen having the inside track based on his international experience. Expect a large and mobile defence to be led by St.Louis Blues' Alex Pietrangelo, a potential team captain. Hard hitters Colten Teubert and Cowen will keep opposition forwards wary in the Canadian zone.
There is some concern about where the scoring will come from, but possible first over all NHL draft pick Taylor Hall, along with Windsor Spitfire team mates Adam Henrique and Greg Nemisz, should provide scoring punch. The trio dominated training camp and could play together on the same line.
This year's team will be much more physical than last year's, but how they will stack up against skillful teams such as Russia and Sweden remains to be seen.
Coach Willie DeJardins used the word "character" to describe his team. He told Canadian Press, "We have a lot of leaders, guys who are captains on their club teams. We have a lot of versatility with guys that can play different roles and play on different lines. It's key that we have guys that will handle pressure well."
Canada will play a pre-tournament game against Sweden on Sunday. The Tournament begins December 26 in Regina and Saskatoon. The World Junior Hockey Championships attract huge TV audiences in Canada over the Christmas holidays.
Update: New Brunswick native Patrice Cormier has been named captain of Team Canada for the World Junior Hockey Championships. The team will rotate alternate captains among five players. They are: Stefan Della Rovere, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Ellis, Alex Pietrangelo, and Colten Teubert.