Thursday, December 13, 2007

Team Canada World Junior Championships Roster Announced

Early this morning TSN leaked the news there had been some surprise cuts at the Team Canada training;

Firstly, Angelo Esposito, the man who helped lead his team to the Memorial Cup in his rookie season (playing on a line with Alexander Radulov), putting up 98 points in 57 games. He also captained the U-17 Hockey Challenge for Team Canada and won gold. But last season his stock fell steadily, and his training camp performance was underwhelming. He was cut from camp, and for the year only managed 79 points in 60 games. In his rookie year in the Q he was rated as the potential number 1 pick in the 07 draft, but by the time the actual draft day rolled around his rank had dropped to about 8th, (depending on the scouting service). He ended up being drafted 20th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

He was chosen to represent Canada at the Super Series this summer, but when the time came to head off to Moscow, Esposito bailed because of a groin pull. Whether he had a groin pull or not, I will never know. Whether it was due to being out of shape or just fluke I'll never know. But I knew the impression it would make on a coach Brent Sutter - the truth didn't matter, the optics were just too bad. That same day I predicted he would never play for team Canada again. His cut comes as no surprise to me, even though I had hoped with his talent level he would be able to make a contribution.

The second cut was Flames prospect Leland Irving, which again, was no surprise to me (I'm great at claiming this after the fact of course). It's not because Irving isn't an alright goalie (god help Flames fans, we sure hope he's alright). I just felt, watching the Super Series, that he was the third best goaltender, behind Jonathan Bernier and then Steve Mason.

In a weird twist, the roster was announced about a day earlier than expected, and so I missed out on tonight's intersqaud game, which was cancelled. Dammit.

Here is the 22 man roster:

  • John Tavares (Oshawa Generals, OHL)
  • Steve Stamkos (Sarnia Sting, OHL)
  • Zach Boychuk (Lethbridge Hurricanes, WHL)
  • Colton Gillies (Saskatoon Blades, WHL)
  • Brandon Sutter (Red Deer Rebels, WHL)
  • Kyle Turris (University of Wisconsin, NCAA)
  • Brad Marchand (Val-d'Or Foreurs, QMJHL)
  • Claude Giroux (Gatineau Olympiques, QMJHL)
  • Matt Halischuk (Kitchener Rangers, OHL)
  • Riley Holzapfel (Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL)
  • Stefan Legein (Niagara IceDogs, OHL)
  • Shawn Matthias (Belleville Bulls, OHL)
  • Wayne Simmonds (Owen Sound Attack, OHL)


  • Thomas Hickey (Seattle Thunderbirds, WHL)
  • PK Subban (Belleville Bulls, OHL)
  • Luke Schenn (Kelowna Rockets, WHL)
  • Drew Doughty (Guelph Storm, OHL)
  • Karl Alzner (Calgary Hitmen, WHL)
  • Josh Godfrey (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, OHL)
  • Logan Pyett (Regina Pats, WHL)


  • Jonathan Bernier (Lewiston Maineiacs, QMJHL)
  • Steve Mason (London Knights, OHL)
Let the fun begin.

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