Hockey Canada has selected 12 OHLers to compete for a spot of Canada’s World Junior team. Of the dozen selected, eight have been a guest on the Around the OHL podcast.
Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp set to take place December 9-12 at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville, Ont.
Two OHL goaltenders, three defencemen and seven forwards are part of the 31-man camp roster consisting of other players from across the Canadian Hockey League.
For this week’s Jaker’s Dozen I’ll take a look at what each player can bring to the table, and how good of a shot do they have at making the time. To round out the 13 I’ll take a look at a player I was surprised to see not invited to camp
Nico Daws – The Guelph Storm netminder played his way into camp. Daws has a healthy lead over his fellow OHL goalies in goals against average and save percentage. The Burlington native has won 10 of his last 12 starts. Likely has an outside chance at making the team, but if he has a strong camp he could make the goaltending decision a tough one for Hockey Canada brass.
Hunter Jones – Another OHL goaltender in the mix. In his third year in the league, Jones has been a candidate for this camp all season, and has met if not exceeded expectations in Peterborough. His 17 wins leads the league, a pretty solid winning percentage for a goalie who’s played in 21 games. Jones’ played the entirety of Team OHL’s shootout loss to Team Russia during the CHL Canada/Russia Series on Nov. 11 in London. Hear Hunter Jones on the Around The OHL Podcast.
Kevin Bahl – The dig Dman is enjoying his best offensive season in Ottawa with five goals and 20 points through 26 games. Playing in all 68 games with the 67’s last season, he posted a plus-50 rating to go along with 34 points on the back end.
Jamie Drysdale – One of the top OHL prospects for the 2020 NHL draft, and one of three draft eligible prospects to make Canada’s camp. Of the three, he may have the toughest time cracking the roster. But 40 points as a 16-year-old defenseman last year, and averaging more than a point per game this year in his second season, could give him an outside shot at making the team.
Thomas Harley – I can see Harley not only making this team, but becoming on of it’s top defensemen. The Dallas Stars prospect leads all OHL defensemen with 11 goals. A good skater who is well equipped to create offense from the back end, whether it’s off the rush or by a good breakout pass. His ability to get shots through traffic is also something to keep an eye out for. Playing in this tournament should provide a good challenge to Harley’s defensive game. Hear Thomas Harley on the Around The OHL Podcast.
Quinton Byfield – Another prospect eligible for the 2020 NHL draft. I can see him making this team, because I think there are several ways he could be utilized. He likely wont play as big of an offensive role as he does in Sudbury, but he’s a guy who can play up and down the line up, and make an impact in many ways. Few people think the game at the level Byfield does, especially at his young age. Hear Quinton Byfield on the Around The OHL Podcast.
Ty Dellandrea – There’s no doubt in my mind that Ty Dellandrea is on this team, my only question is where he will fit in with the team’s leadership group. There’s usually a handful of players on this team who captain their club team, and this year will be no different, but Dellandrea very well could be the top leader among them. It’s no easy task captaining a team like this with the country watching, but I feel as though the Dallas Stars first rounder has the best pedigree to pull it off. Hear Ty Dellandrea on the Around The OHL Podcast.
Aidan Dudas – The Owen Sound Attack captain is a work horse. Few in the league combine raw skill and a motor like Dudas. Very strong for his smaller stature, gets around the rink in a gurry and can be very tough to knock of the puck. Dudas got a lot of responsibility during the CHL Canada/Russia and looked good. He’s another guy where his value on this team could be his versatility.
Liam Foudy – Barring a disastrous camp, the Columbus Blue Jackets first rounder should find him self with team Canada when all is said and done. One of the best skaters at the junior hockey level, he will be very tough for defenders to match up against on the big ice. Hear Liam Foudy on the Around The OHL Podcast.
Connor McMichael – Every year there are one or two guys where people say “how the hell does he not make the team?!?” McMichael might be that guy this year. His offensive game grew leaps an bounds, and has been one of the most dangerous players in the league. He’s added some more weapons, developing his playmaking abilities and still has a very strong shot that he gets off in a hurry. If he can bring that offense to camp, I think he’s got a spot on this team. McMichael would still be eligible for next year’s team as well. Hear Connor McMichael on the Around The OHL Podcast.
Cole Perfetti – The third prospect eligible for 2020 draft at camp with Hockey Canada. I can see Perfetti finding a way on to this team, maybe as a 13th forward, who can help anchor the power play. His shootout prowess will force Hockey Canada to give him a good long look, if he is able to bring another dynamic to the team, then I think he could find a spot. Hear Cole Perfetti on the Around The OHL Podcast.
Akil Thomas – The Los Angeles Kings prospect has always dreamed of playing for Canada at the World Juniors, I think this year that dream becomes a reality. Thomas has always impressed me with his offense, his skating, combined with his soft hands, a recipe to cause nightmares for opposing teams. This year, he’s added the leadership dynamic to his game as well. Despite most writing of the rebuilding Niagara IceDogs, Akil Thomas has the team playing .500 hockey and is proving to be much more than a prolific scorer. Hear Akil Thomas on the Around The OHL Podcast.
Who’s missing – Philip Tomasino is a guy I expected at this camp. He has scored in five straight games, and 11 points in his last seven games. The Nashville Predators prospect is still eligible for next year’s team, but I feel like his skating could have been a factor on the big ice. He has been inconsistent at times this year, going six straight games in November where he failed to pick up a point, he was a minus-8 during that stretch. Before that, he had 25 points in his first 14 games of the season. A bit more consistency in his game would make him an almost lock for next year. I’d also add Guelph Storm forward Cam Hillis and Oshawa Generals forward Serron Noel as guys I thought would be at camp.