This past Thursday, Hockey Canada released its roster for the 2009 IIHF World Under 18 Championship. Canada is looking to repeat its gold medal performance of last season. Historically speaking, Canada hasn't had a whole lot of success in the tournament, with only one other gold medal (2003) in the past 10 years. I guess you could make the excuse that Canada isn't sending its best players due to the CHL playoffs and therefore a lack of success isn't as alarming as you'd believe it to be.
Here is the roster thanks to Hockey Canada...
|Goaltenders/Gardiens de but|
|1||Bryce O'Hagan||G||L/G||6'2"||194||12/27/91||Burlington, Ont.||Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)|
|30||Michael Zador||G||L/G||6'2"||189||05/08/91||Toronto, Ont.||Oshawa Generals (OHL)|
|3||Brayden McNabb||D||L/G||6'4"||195||01/21/91||Davidson, Sask.||Kootenay Ice (WHL)|
|4||Simon Despres||D||L/G||6'4"||214||07/27/91||Laval, Que.||Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)|
|5||Erik Gudbranson||D||R/D||6'3"||195||01/07/92||Orleans, Ont.||Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)|
|6||Stefan Elliott||D||R/D||6'1"||184||01/30/91||North Vancouver, B.C.||Saskatoon Blades (WHL)|
|12||Dylan Olsen||D||L/G||6'2"||195||01/03/91||Calgary, Alta.||Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL)|
|24||Calvin de Haan||D||L/G||6'0"||170||05/09/91||Carp, Ont.||Oshawa Generals (OHL)|
|26||Taylor Doherty||D||R/D||6'8"||218||03/02/91||Cambridge, Ont.||Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)|
|8||Brett Connolly||F/A||R/D||6'1"||162||05/02/92||Prince George, B.C.||Prince George Cougars (WHL)|
|9||Ryan O'Reilly||F/A||L/G||6'0"||205||02/07/91||Varna, Ont.||Erie Otters (OHL)|
|11||Peter Holland||F/A||L/G||6'2"||190||01/14/91||Caledon, Ont.||Guelph Storm (OHL)|
|10||Zack Kassian||F/A||R/D||6'3"||205||01/24/91||LaSalle, Ont.||Peterborough Petes (OHL)|
|14||Byron Froese||F/A||R/D||6'0"||171||03/12/91||Winkler, Man.||Everett Silvertips (WHL)|
|15||Garrett Mitchell||F/A||R/D||5'11"||181||09/02/91||Regina, Sask.||Regina Pats (WHL)|
|16||Landon Ferraro||F/A||R/D||5'11"||165||08/08/91||Vancouver, B.C.||Red Deer Rebels (WHL)|
|17||John McFarland||F/A||R/D||6'0"||192||04/02/92||Richmond Hill, Ont.||Sudbury Wolves (OHL)|
|18||Joey Hishon||F/A||L/G||5'10"||166||10/20/91||Stratford, Ont.||Owen Sound Attack (OHL)|
|21||Cody Eakin||F/A||L/G||5'11"||174||05/24/91||Winnipeg, Man.||Swift Current Broncos (WHL)|
|22||Curtis Hamilton||F/A||L/G||6'3"||202||12/04/91||Kelowna, B.C.||Saskatoon Blades (WHL)|
|23||Kyle Clifford||F/A||L/G||6'1"||200||01/13/91||Ayr, Ont.||Barrie Colts (OHL)|
|25||Ethan Werek||F/A||L/G||6'2"||195||06/07/91||Goodwood, Ont.||Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)|
The OHL makes up the largest proportion of the team with 12 members.
Some omissions have left me scratching my head quite frankly. Omissions that perhaps make you wonder if the politics of the selection process may be a reason for the team's lack of success over the years.
- For one, the goaltending selections have me scratching my head a bit. Scott Stajcer, considered to be one of the best available netminders for the 2009 draft, is a glaring omission. Stajcer is a big, athletic netminder for Owen Sound, whom I've seen a few times this season, each of which I left impressed. Meanwhile, Zador and O'Hagan have left me the opposite in my viewings this season and I don't have a whole lot of faith in their ability to backstop Canada to a medal at this point. You have to wonder if Stajcer was injured or for some reason declined an invitation, because him not being on this team is borderline rediculous.
- Secondly, where is Peter Holland? Holland is widely considered to be a top 15, top 20 draft selection for the 2009 draft and just might have been the most talented available forward for Canada with Guelph being eliminated by Saginaw in the first round. Holland is an intelligent forward with a good skill set who finished second in scoring for the Storm this season. Another guy I wonder what the deal with is. Is he injured? Did he decline the invitation? Not having his offensive ability on this team could hurt (at least by taking a quick glance at the roster).
Peter Holland has been added to the team and Michael Fine has been removed. I have absolutely no idea how this happened or why. Could be injury related. Either way, Holland is now with the team.