Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Team Canada World Juniors Part 2: The Forwards

Team Canada's forwards consist of  six first round picks and one soon to be first round pick come 2012 (Tanner Pearson).

Jaden Schwartz is currently the only team Canada player not in the NHL or Major Junior as he plays for Colorado College. He should see first line duty and is a first round pick of the Blues.

Michael Bournival is one of the least recognizable names on the roster. He is a third round NHL draft pick of Colorado and is currently averaging almost a goal a game in the QMJHL.

Jonathan Huberdeau is an offensive whiz, although he has been injured as of late. He went third overall in last years NHL draft with Florida and is averaging over two points a game with Saint John of the QMJHL.

Brendan Gallagher is the smallest player on the team at 5"8 and 178 pounds. He has lit up the WHL during his major junior career, although I see his career path being similar to Brandon Kozun or Brandon Reid: decent numbers in the minors for a few years, then head over to Europe. He controls his fate and a big tournament will help put away any doubts of his effectiveness due to size.

Freddie Hamilton is a fifth round pick of San Jose and is the brother of Dougie Hamilton. He looks to be a future third line NHL player, with a ceiling at best for second line duty. He is plus point per game player in the OHL.

Brett Connolly will looked to for some big goals and leadership given his NHL experience so far this season. Hopefully he can build up his mojo again with a great world junior showing and take this back to the Lightning of the NHL.

Tanner Pearson was a big surprise in camp and is the only non drafted forward on the team. After a decent rookie season in the OHL, he is averaging nearly two points per game with Barrie this season. He probably won't get top ice time with Canada, but if he does, he should have no problems producing.

Mark Stone is a sixth round pick of Ottawa and plays for Brandon of the WHL where he is having a strong season. Ottawa may have gotten a steal with Stone in the sixth round.

Ryan Strome was taken fifth overall by the Islanders in '11 draft. He is well rounded player who should be counted on at both ends of the ice.

Mark Scheifele is perhaps the most popular player on the team thanks to his time with the Winnipeg Jets to start the season. He should play on the top line and will be a dominant force.

Boone Jenner may be Canada's least offensive oriented player and will be suited toward a grinding roll. In such a short tournament, players like this have incredible value and hopefully Jenner will accept his role on such a talented team.

Quinton Howden, a late pick in the first round by the Florida Panthers is presently on pace to have his best season yet with Moose Jaw of the WHL. He will be a very important player for Canada and should see some PP and PK time.

Devante Smith-Pelly is having a so-so start to his NHL career with Anaheim. Regardless, he will be counted on big time by Canada to produce timely goals and hits. He should be a top six forward with the red and white.

Goalies will be coming up in part 3....

No comments:

Post a Comment