Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Team Canada Selection Camp Announced for the 2009 World Junior Hockey Championships

Today, sometime after noon, Hockey Canada and head coach Pat Quinn announced the selection camp roster for the upcoming 2009 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in Ottawa. The camp roster is made up a mix of players from every CHL league, as well as the NCAA.

Here are the OHL players named to the tryout roster of 38...


Tyler Cuma - Ottawa 67's
Ryan Ellis - Windsor Spitfires
Alex Pietrangelo - Niagara Ice Dogs
P.K. Subban - Belleville Bulls

Jamie Arniel - Sarnia Sting
Stefan Della Rovere - Barrie Colts
Matt Duchene - Brampton Battalion
Taylor Hall - Windsor Spitfires
Cody Hodgson - Brampton Battalion
Nazem Kadri - London Knights
John Tavares - Oshawa Generals

For me the notable exemptions from the OHL are:
Mike Murphy
Logan Couture
Michael Del Zotto
Eric O'Dell

I really thought Murphy was a shoe in for a goalie selection. He's such a dynamic player who is capable of stealing games for his hockey team. He's the reigning CHL goaltender of the year and is on pace to be a candidate for that again this season. And while technically and mechanically he's a bit erratic, he knows how to stop the puck. Perhaps the fact that he's never really had an in with Hockey Canada on the international scene, prevented him from earning an invite. And it's not like the 4 goalies who were selected are slouches. But I have to admit I was pulling for Murphy considering how exciting he is to watch.

Eric O'Dell is a bit of a surprise for me too. Since he played such a big role for Pat Quinn at last year's Under 18's, I figured he would get an invite to the camp. And I also figured he had a serious shot at a checking/defensive role. Cest la vie though. O'Dell is probably a serious contender for next year's camp roster if he continues to progress.

To be honest, while I'm surprised that Del Zotto and Couture didn't at least get invites, at the same time I can see the reasoning. Del Zotto is just too inconsistent in the defensive zone, especially in terms of physical aggressiveness. And Couture has had a tough go of things this year so far and a lot has been made about possible character flaws and lack of effort from his part.

Speaking of effort, is anyone else on the Stefan Della Rovere for team Canada bandwagon? This guy is a little fireball who can play pretty much any role for his team. I think he really opened up some eyes with his play at the ADT Challenge, especially considering he went from being an after thought/injury addition, to a spot on the selection roster. As long as he can play within limits (similar to Stefan Legein did last year, and other pest types have before), he's got a spot on my Canadian team.

The link to the full selection camp roster can be found here.

By the way, the United States team was also named today. However, as many of you may know, the United States does not hold a formal selection camp before the tournament and thus they named their actual team roster.

A few OHL players were named to the squad including Thomas McCollum, Josh Unice, and Eric Tangradi.

The full roster can be found here.

Notable exemptions here would be John Carlson and Phil McRae from the London Knights. I find that the naming of the US team always tends to have politics involved, and I think their absence stinks of that. The Knights have been a major "stealer" from U.S. hockey in recent years, including Carlson, McRae, Jared Knight, and Kevin Montgomery. Perhaps this is a way of sending a message to those the Knights try to pry away from going the NCAA route next.


Nathan Fournier said...

Carlson never played for the National Team Development Program like the other three you mentioned. Well Knight didn't either but was signed to play for them this year.

Maybe you meant the US system like going the NCAA route?

Either way I enjoy your Blog.

Brock Otten said...

Yeah that's what I meant Nathan. The U.S. system in general. Preventing players from going the NCAA route.

Perhaps it's a far fetched conspiracy, but considering how well Carlson has played this season (perhaps the best defenseman in the OHL right now), it is hard to believe he was left off, even if the US defense is solid as is.

ronnyg said...

Having seen almost every Knight game this year I agree Carlson is likely the best defenceman in the OHL. There is no doubt that politics were involved in the decision not to select him. I can't imagine how strong the U.S. defence would have to be to justify not taking Carlson.

Anonymous said...

So, if the US left off Carlson and McRae because London 'stole' them and the NCAA lost them, is it not ironic that the retaliation on USA Hockey's part is to not take them away from London for a month to play for the US again?

McRae seems like the type of player who may just have missed the cut. He's not necessarily better than guys like O'Brien, Hoeffel or Rust, because they're all at least on par as checking line players. Danny Kristo is the only real oddity.

But Carlson doesn't really make any sense for any other reason. You would have to think he's at least better than Blake Kessel without a doubt.