Oh Canada!

Team Canada plays the Americans today in the latest battle with our friends to the south. The World Juniors have a special place in the hearts of this nation, partly because it’s a preview of coming attractions (see photo). Edmonton Oiler fans have learned to pay special attention to the World Juniors over the years. It’s a chance to see future Oilers and has been from the beginning.

Pick a former Oiler star and chances are he played for Team Canada at the World Junior’s. Here’s a partial list:

  • Dave Hunter 7gp, 6-0-6 (1977)
  • Wayne Gretzky 6gp, 8-9-17 (1978)
  • Marc Habscheid 7gp, 6-6-12 (1982)
  • Gord Sherven 7gp, 1-3-4 (1983)
  • Jeff Beukeboom 3gp, 1-0-1 (1985)
  • Selmar Odelein 7gp, 1-5-6 (1985)
  • Emanuel Viveiros 7gp, 1-1-2 (1986)
  • Martin Gelinas 7gp, 0-2-2 (1989)
  • Geoff Smith 7gp, 0-1-1 (1989)
  • Ralph Intranuovo 7gp, 3-2-5 (1993)
  • Tyler Wright 7gp, 3-3-6 (1993)
  • Nick Stadjuhar 7gp, 1-4-5 (1994)
  • Ryan Smyth 7gp, 2-5-7 (1995)
  • Mike Watt 5gp, 1-2-3 (1996)
  • Boyd Devereaux 7gp, 4-0-4 (1997)
  • Jason Chimera 7gp, 2-2-4 (1999)
  • Jarret Stoll 7gp, 0-2-2 (2001)
  • Danny Syvret 6gp, 1-2-3 (2005)
  • Andrew Cogliano 6gp, 1-4-5 (2006)
  • Andrew Cogliano 6gp, 1-2-3 (2007)
  • Sam Gagner 6gp, 0-0-0 (2007)
  • Jordan Eberle 6gp, 6-7-13 (2009)
  • Jordan Eberle 6gp, 8-5-13 (2010)
  • Taylor Hall 6gp, 6-6-12 (2010)

Curtis Hamilton and Olivier Roy joined that list this season. That’s a helluva list.

The ultimate prize awaits four teams: Canada, Russia, Sweden and the United States of America. Canada is not the favorite, in fact a reasonable seeding would have them 3rd behind the Swedes and the defending champions. Never go against Canada when the sporting event takes place on ice or involves drinking adult beverages WITH ice. It’s a loser’s bet.

Game time for RUS-SWE is 1:30 this afternoon and the CAN-USA game goes at 5pm. tsn has the video and Team 1260 the audio.

Bless you boys, bring back the Zeta-Jones.

  • Chris.

    •Sam Gagner 6gp, 0-0-0 (2007)

    LOL ~Maybe Sam got off to a slow start? I’m sure if the tournament was 82 games long he’d of picked it up a bit in the second half…~

    • Jamie B.

      Gagner was 17 and basically the 13th forward. There were also some personal things going on at the time that may have been a factor. But I understand your ~sarcasm~.

      For those wanting to flush Olivier Roy, I think we can all agree last year’s Team Canada goaltending was pretty much less than stellar too and definitely had an impact in that gold medal game. Well, this year both of those goalies are playing very well in the AHL. So who can tell. Roy’s a 5th rounder, our hopes should be tempered for him anyway.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      Taylor Hall will be the next captain, once the Oilers albatross has left.

      Couturier and Larsson i don’t think have had great tournaments, was expecting to see them confirm their top five rating.

  • ebbandflow

    robitaille syndrome how anyone could not have the foresight that this kid(conz) is a winner its baffling… roy will be fine look at any goalie (needs time) the one we should be hoping for is that LANDER kid from sweden

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      odds are, if 30 NHL teams passed on him in 2 drafts, there might be something there that isnt being reported..

      i (highly) doubt johnny bearleaguer watching the tournie from the couch in his moms basement can see something that crews of pro scouts watching game after game after game overseas and at the tournie hasnt seen..

      • ebbandflow

        haha thats a beauty .. but how can you honestly argue with PERFORMANCE im thinking CONZ woulda looked good in red and white while OUR ROY was letting in shot after shot… PLEASE pro scout tell me how and why he is undrafted

        • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

          do we really need to get into the number of junior age goalies who dont advance anywhere?

          i have no idea why he hasnt been drafted yet. I only get to see him in a small handful of games on TV, i have never seen him live. He performs well at the junior level, and by most accounts is doing well in the swiss league this year.

          drafting is a crap shoot at best, but generally if the guy has a shot to be a player, someone takes a flier on him. Are there exceptions? of course there is. How many undrafted goalies over the last 10 draft years are making an impact in the NHL right now? Im not sure what the answer is, but i would guess the number is very low..

          jonas hiller is one that comes to mind

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            last 10 draft years wasnt simple enough for you to read?

            ~or, are belfour and cujo just that good that they could have been re-drafted in the last 10 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!~

          • Dyckster

            cableguy’s statement was qualifed with “How many undrafted goalies over the last 10 draft years….”.

            I’m fairly certain Belfour and Cujo were drafted outside of that time period.

            Once again ebb, you need to read the entire contents of an entry before debating it.

          • ebbandflow

            cujO and the eagle were never drafted all harps back to the same argument goalies are a crapshoot… where is pogge rright now ? there is just something to be said for conz who has not only had ONE tourney run hes done it two years in a row how you could try and defy logic by not considering how many ACTUAL pucks the said player lets in is beyond me

      • Lowetide

        All good points. However, goaltending is a weird science. Sam Pollock once lost Tony Esposito on waivers rival Chicago and didn’t worry at all because of his butterfly style.

        40 years later the style is commonplace. There may be something lacking in his game, but the resume grows.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I’ll take your word for it then LT.

    Has that Conz kid been drafted, that Michelin man goalie from the Swiss team? That kid has impressed when it mattered.

  • Lowetide

    Sure he is. This is a very short tournament and the kid lost the starting job against a strong Swedish team. There’s every chance the roles would have been reversed had the coach decided to go with the other guy off the hop.

    A long QMJHL season is a better indicator of a prospect than a Christmas tournament.

    • book¡e

      No, not at all, he played a couple of bad games! How could anyone go on to an NHL career after playing a couple of bad games as a teenager. Particularly a goalie, I mean, everyone knows that once a goalie plays even one bad game in their career, they are pretty much a write off.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Guess we should’ve seen that one coming eh?

        Ironically he did play like a fifth round pick….or shall we wait on him for 8 yrs as well like the Oilers did for Deslaurier? Maybe it’s better to see the crack in the foundation now before they waste their time.