Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Predictions for Team Canada WHJC U-20 Team

Jonathan Huberdeau(QMJHL)-Zack Phillips(QMJHL)-Mark Stone(WHL)
Jaden Schwartz(WCHA)-Ryan Strome(OHL)-Brendan Gallagher(WHL)
Quinton Howden(WHL)-Mark Scheifele(OHL)-Tyler Toffoli(OHL)
Philip Danault(QMJHL)-Kevin Sundher(WHL)-Brad Ross(WHL)
Ty Rattie(WHL) Michael Bournival(QMJHL)

Brandon Gormley(QMJHL)-Dougie Hamilton(OHL)
Jamie Oleksiak(OHL)-Ryan Murphy(OHL)
Joe Morrow(WHL)- Mark Pysyk(WHL)
Jerome Gauthier-Leduc(QMJHL)

Tyler Bunz(WHL)
Louis Domingue(QMJHL)

- Ultimately I think Team Canada will have a hard time keeping the Phillips/Huberdeau tandem apart, especially considering most of the centers (Nugnet-Hopkins, Couturier, Johansen) are still in the NHL. If there in some place Team Canada might suffer, it is at center play. Kevin Sundher is one who has come out of nowhere, he has this Doug Gilmour type game going on for him right now that has helped him take the lead in WHL scoring. He's a good two-way option that they can use up and down the lineup. Underager prodigies, Nathan MacKinnon and Sean Monahan will be in tough to crack this lineup, Since it doesn't have the high end talent other years have had, I don't think they will have the chance to break in someone here. They will need all hands on deck this year. Danualt and Ross make the team because of their ability to PK and play tenacious, high energy type hockey. The defense is the strength of the team this year. Lots of options and plenty of types to choose from. Some very good players will be left off the team but I think the 7 I have listed up top have the best blend of abilities to make this team work. I had a tossup between Pysyk and Dylan McIlrath, but ultimately I think Pysyk's versatility wins out over McIlrath's toughness. Bunz and Domingue are the two hottest goaltenders in all of junior Canada right now, so I think the dispute is limited however I could understand why Team Canada would want incumbant Mark Visentin, but he hasn't had as good of a year as these two have. Goaltending is usual about going with the hottest guy, especially in tournament format. It will be interesting to see how the team unfolds this year. I will post a follow up of the real team and how it compares to my team above.

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