Official Team Canada:
Jonathan Huberdeau-Ryan NugentHopkins-Mark Scheifele
Charles Hudon-Ryan Strome-Brett Ritchie
Jonathan Drouin-Boone Jenner-Ty Rattie
Anthony Camara-Phillip Danault-J.C. Lipon
Morgan Rielly-Dougie Hamilton
Scott Harrington-Xavier Ouellet
Griffin Reinhart-Tyler Wotherspoon
My Team Canada:
Jonathan Huberdeau-Ryan NugentHopkins-Ryan Strome
Jonathan Drouin-Mark Scheifele-Nathan MacKinnon
Brett Ritchie-Boone Jenner-Ty Rattie
Phillip Danault-Sean Monahan-Tom Wilson
Ryan Murray-Dougie Hamilton
Morgan Rielly-Cody Ceci
Griffin Reinhart-Mathew Dumba
- Team Canada went for a more smallish, speddy lineup rather than a balanced one considering they will be playing on the lasrger ice surface in Russia.
- Two worries for myself are how the defense will hold up considering it is made up mostly of "specialists". Players that are excellent in some areas of the game but weak at others, as opposed to taking more well rounded players. Initial thought is, the Ryan Murray injury that forced him to miss the rest of the hockey season is going to loom large. That's why I had more well rounded defenders in Cody Ceci and potentially Ryan Pulock (replacement for Ryan Murray) to make the club. That way they can be plug and played into any situation without having to disrupt the lineup too much.
- The other worry is the lack of strength in the forward ranks. A lot of that strength will be tied up in the forms of Brett Ritchie and Mark Scheifele which may or may not be enough at the end of the day. Even though the big ice surface tends to favor speedy players, there are still times when board battles and one on one strength battles will need to be won. Not much of an intimidation factor to this club.
- If Team Canada is going to persevere, they are going to need stellar goaltending from Malcolm Subban. Protecting a lead could become problematic for this club and Subban will need to be at the top of his game. Only Scott Harrington and Dougie Hamilton are returnees, so it will be interesting to see how the defense holds up under the pressure of the big games.
- I'm hoping to see Mark Scheifele at center and Ryan Strome on the wing as Scheifele's rangy frame will be able to cover more area of the ice and is a better pivot considering how the team is built. Strome can use his tenacity much more off the wing without having to worry about being out of position.
- Happy to see NHL Draft eligible players Jonathan Drouin and Nathan McKinnon make the club as I think they will be two of Canada's best offensive players. I'm hoping McKinnon gets more icetime than just as a 13th forward. Hunter Shinkaruk and Sean Monahan were not so lucky to make the club but you can only bring so many underage player and not have it become a detriment.
- Happy to see Charles Hudon make the club even though I didn't have him on my team. Hudon is a gutsy player that can play a variety of roles off the wing. I went with a more center heavy club which squeezed Hudon off of my team but it was gut wrenching to leave him off as I really like the way he plays the game.
- I have Team USA winning the gold, but I think its a 3 horse race between Canada, Russia and USA for gold and it should be a wonderful tourney to watch over the Christman/New Years part of the season.