Team Canada has announced its roster for the upcoming World Junior Championships in Edmonton.
Unsurprisingly, Dylan Holloway, the Oilers’ first-round pick from the 2020 draft, has cracked the team. It’ll be his first go-around for Canada at the world’s top Junior hockey tournament.
Holloway will be joined by a handful of other players who were taken in this year’s draft, including No. 2 overall selection Quinton Byfield and No. 6 overall selection Jamie Drysdale. Not on the roster, though, is 2020 No. 1 overall pick, Alexis Lafreniere, who was not released by the New York Rangers to participate in the tournament.
The team consists of 10 first-round picks from the 2020 draft, 10 first-round picks from the 2019 draft, and just three players who weren’t first-round draft picks. Goaltenders Taylor Gauthier and Dylan Garland are the only two players on the roster who are still draft-eligible. The fact Canada can put together a team with 20 first-round picks is pretty incredible.
Canada won gold last year and will be looking for its first back-to-back WJC victories since winning the tournament five consecutive times between 2005 and 2009. I would say that they’re easily favourites this year even without Lafreniere on the team.
Elsewhere, Philip Broberg will surely be named to Team Sweden, though their roster has not yet been made official. Edmonton’s first-round pick from the 2019 draft was on Sweden’s World Junior teams in 2018 and 2019 and will likely be the team’s No. 1 defenceman in this year’s tournament.
It’s a shame that fans in Edmonton won’t be able to pack the stands to watch Holloway and Broberg, but having this tournament on TV is better than nothing.