As a 14-year-old playing in one of the top leagues in Western Canada, it can feel like the next options for hockey are overwhelming. They can consider the American college route and play Junior A for a few years, or if possible, join the Western Hockey League (WHL), play for the goal of becoming a professional and build up the years of free education.
The way the game is played at lower levels in Ontario will officially change with a new mandate in place. Skill development will be on the forefront with smaller ice, lighter pucks and “station-based practices” as the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) looks to bring changes across the province.
In the 12-year history of the World Junior A Challenge (WJAC), Team Canada West and Team USA are the only teams to win the championship.
Canada’s national women’s team got the best of the U.S. in a six-game series but the wins that really matter will not be earned until February at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.
It seemed like there were more people questioning Canada’s world junior roster choices this year than in previous years. For one thing, there doesn’t appear to be as much young star power as players like Cody Glass and Nick Suzuki, both top-15 selections in the 2017 NHL Draft, didn’t make the squad while Owen Tippett, who played seven games with the Florida Panthers to start the season, wasn’t even invited to camp.
Last fall, the thought of Cale Makar suiting up for Team Canada at the World Juniors, even this year, might have seemed far-fetched since he was a relative unknown playing Junior A.
There was never going to a huge contingent of QMJHL players on the Canadian roster at this year’s IIHF U20 World Championship in Buffalo, N.Y.
A late addition from the NHL could pay dividends for Canada’s World Junior team. Victor Mete, a London Knights product who earned a spot with the Montreal Canadiens as a 19-year-old, has been loaned to Team Canada in the hopes of pushing them to gold.
Team Canada will be out for vengeance on Boxing Day. With seven players returning to the IIHF World Junior Championship from last year’s silver medal winning Canadian squad, the young men in red and white boast one of the strongest team’s in recent memory — and it starts from the goaltender out.
While it’s still an uncommon avenue to choose from compared to the CHL, there have been many NCAA players who have made an impact for Canada at the World Juniors.
The days where Canada can run away with the tournament are over. Most of us are old enough to remember Canada winning five straight golds on two separate occasions (1993-97 and 2005-09), but hockey is a much different game now and it’s clear that there are plenty of powerhouse nations who will put Canada to work. Here’s a look at this year’s competition.
They finally made it. After summer selection camp, the World Junior showcase, a much-anticipated NHL loaner in Victor Mete and a few other late additions who weren’t invited to the summer showcase, the final 22 are setting their sights on Buffalo and their first game against Finland.
1) Team Canada’s Olympic Goalies Unveil Their Masks
2) Meet Matthew Savoie, the NAX Forward Taking the CSSHL by Storm
3) 2018 Olympic Preview: Team Canada Women's Hockey
4) Drake Batherson Taking Career Year One Highlight at a Time
5) Ty Ronning Hoping to Ride Career High to WHL Playoffs