The OHL leads the way with ten players selected to Canada’s world junior squad.
OHL players on the 24-man roster include forwards Quinton Byfield (Sudbury Wolves), Ty Dellandrea (Flint Firebirds), Aidan Dudas (Owen Sound Attack), Liam Foudy (London Knights), Barrett Hayton (Arizona Coyotes/Soo Greyhounds), Connor McMichael (London Knights) and Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs), defencemen Kevin Bahl (Ottawa 67’s) and Jamie Drysdale (Erie Otters) as well as goaltender Nico Daws (Guelph Storm).
Of the 10 OHL players, Hayton, who has appeared in 14 games with the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes this season, is the lone returning name from last year’s World Junior Championship in Vancouver, BC.
Top 2020 NHL Draft prospects Byfield and Drysdale won silver together at this past summer’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup Tournament.
London Knights general manger Mark Hunter continues to oversee the selection process as GM of Canada’s National Junior Team while Knights head coach Dale Hunter will lead Team Canada behind the bench. He’s joined by Ottawa 67’s bench boss Andre Tourigny who will serve as an assistant. Owen Sound Attack head coach Alan Letang will serve as a pre-scout coach.
“As with every year, there are difficult decisions to trim down our roster, but ultimately we believe this group will give us our best shot at a gold medal,” said Shawn Bullock, director of men’s national teams with Hockey Canada. “We will continue the process of building our team, and we look forward to an exciting World Juniors.”
Canada’s final 22-player roster does not need to be officially submitted to the International Ice Hockey Federation until Dec. 25.
Hockey Canada had said it will wait as long as needed to finalize its roster.
Three OHLers were cut from Canada’s camp, Thomas Harley (Mississauga Steelheads), Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit), and goalie Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes).
Canada has won gold at the world juniors 17 times since 1977, with the last victory coming at the 2018 event in Buffalo, N.Y.
The puck will officially drop on Boxing Day when Canada takes on the United States, followed by games against Russia, Germany and the Czech Republic.