Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2012 IIHF Team Canada World Junior Roster Preview

Since the age of six, I have enjoyed watching the World Junior Tournament and I look forward to it every holiday season. So many future NHL stars played in this great tournament and on the flip side, this tournament has shown flaw's in some of the worlds top prospects that hurt there pre-draft rankings.

My preview starts with Team Canada's defense, which boasts five first round draft picks!

Jamie Oleksiak is a Dallas first round draft pick and is a big boy at 6"5, 244 pounds. Look for him to be a dominant physical force in the tournament. Don't expect a whole lot of offense though as that is just not his game.

Brandon Gormley is a Phoenix Coyotes number one draft pick and a average sized offensive defenseman. He is currently averaging over a point per game with Moncton of the QMJHL.

Dougie Hamilton at the moment may be one of the best defense prospects in the tournament. He is a Boston first round pick and is averaging a point and a half a game with Niagra of the OHL. He should be Canada's go to guy on the point and should see plenty of ice time.

Mark Pysyk is a first round pick of the Buffalo Sabres and one of the the players I know little about. He plays in the WHL for Edmonton, a league that doesn't get as much exposure in southern Ontario. The WHL is known for breeding tough defensemen, so I'm expecting a physical presence from Pysyk.

Scott Harington is a second round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins and plays for London of the OHL. He has the best plus minus (along with Beaulieu) out of all the Canadian defensemen with a +20.

Ryan Murray has not been drafted yet due to a later birthday but should be taken in this years draft top ten overall. He has been limited to eleven games this season with Everett of the OHL.

Nathan Beaulieu rounds out Canada's defense. He was taken in the first round by the Montreal Canadians and plays for Saint John's of the QMJHL. He has a nice blend of offense and defense, averaging nearly a point a game this season, while adding 57 penalty minutes in 30 games.

Next up, Team Canada's Forwards..

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