On Thursday night, Canada ended their four game exhibition series at the Summer Showcase in Calgary, topping the Czech Republic by a score of 6-2. It gave team management and fans a chance to check out some of the potential options for the upcoming World Juniors in Finland, a tournament that they recently won back in January.  If you missed it, it’s probably because you forgot that there was actually some hockey to be played in August, but if not, here’s a couple of things that stood out to me during the four game mini-tournament.

Mitch Marner:
 Marner was one of the top three players every time he played, no question. The fourth overall pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the most recent draft, Marner continuously made everyone better on every shift. He even earned some important power-play time in his two games, most notably early on in the final game. His chemistry with Dylan Strome was fantastic on Thursday, setting up Canada’s fourth goal after dodging Czech defensemen at the blue line. As long as he doesn’t make the NHL, he’s a lock for this team.

Brayden Point: There’s nothing negative you could say about Point’s performance at the camp this summer. After basically fighting his way into a bottom spot with the World Junior team back in December, Point lead this week’s event with eight points in just two games. It almost seemed like they could have put him in a checking role, and despite his size, he’d still be dominant.

Every time he touched the puck, you could always expect something good to come out of him. Whether it be his tremendous chemistry with Travis Konecny, who got four points when paired with Point, or Nick Merkley, who scored twice thanks to the Lightning prospect, it looks like Canada has a budding star on their hands. All three of those players could form a line that could show some major upside in a top six role, something that Canada will look to replace with the departures of Anthony Duclair and Max Domi.

Three-Headed Goalie Beast: When each goalie played in just one full match each, it’s hard to really judge how the three goaltenders performed for Canada. They all had very strong performances, though, so it’s hard to really choose a clear order for them all.

Mason McDonald probably has the starting role just on experience alone. After acting as the starting goalie for Canadian teams at both the U17 and U18 tournaments, Hockey Canada knew what to expect from McDonald. In his one game of action, a 4-1 victory over Russia, McDonald looked rather unbeatable, minus the one soft goal from far that he allowed. He was the best goaltender in the last tournament that he participated in for Canada, the U18’s back in 2013, and at 19 years old, he’s the oldest option between the three.

Mackenzie Blackwood probably had the best overall game, a 26 save performance over the Czech’s in their first meeting on Tuesday. While Samuel Montembeault had the tougher chances in the game and a half he participated in, the Florida Panthers prospect did allow four goals in regulation, the most of any Canadian goalie. That’s not a fair knack against his game, though, as he had to face much harder scoring chances and looked very quick on most of his saves. When you have this much competition between the three goalies, there’s a good chance that any of them could win games at the World Juniors. But who will be the one to actually do it? My bet is on McDonald.

Travis Sanheim: A year ago, Travis Sanheim didn’t make the Canadian World Junior team after a very less-than-stellar performance during the two exhibition games against the CIS Selects. I knew he was better than that. From what I’d seen and heard from him as a Calgary Hitmen star, I thought he’d be ready to take control and prove himself this time around.

Once again, I wasn’t impressed. He still seemed to struggle in the transition game, making a good rush in the offensive zone, only to be made look dumb in front of his own net. Canada won’t lack solid two-way defensemen, so his negative impact in Canada’s zone wont help him. Fortunately, there’s still a lot of time for him to improve and continue his strong play with Calgary. In fact, he could end up being one of the better WHL defenders this year. But when he returns to put on the jersey at the selection camp in December, he’ll have to do a whole lot better than the last two times he did.

The forward chase: Two of the most compelling players that may miss out on the team are Mathew Barzal and Mitch Stephens. Both were standouts for Team Canada at the U18’s, but with a good mix of 19 and 18-year-olds already on the team, two of the most recent NHL Draft picks may have a tough time making the roster.

That’s not due to a lack of trying or anything. Barzal proved that his passing abilities are elite, with his set-up of Oliver Leblanc’s goal on Thursday being a very clear example of that. But for both players, their time just may not be until next year. There is simply a lot of depth, both mixed in with older players looking for a final chance or younger guys steaming out of the most recent draft, all looking for spots in the final six as well. But if any two players really made a case as potential fourth line options, Stephens and Barzal really proved that they are a force to be reckoned with.

The defense chase: Despite the defensive pool being just a little smaller, there is going to be one heck of a battle to fill out that top six. Joe Hicketts, the only returning defenseman, is a lock for sure. Mixed with either Noah Juulsen or Thomas Chabot, who he skated with on Thursday, Canada will have a few good options to mesh with as potential top pairing defensemen with the ability to do almost everything right.

But after those three, it gets a little muddier. Almost every defenseman had their ups and downs in Calgary, especially Haydn Fleury. Another late cut from a year ago, Fleury had some really strong moments where he was very good defensively. At the same time, he was responsible for a few goals throughout. It was kind of an up and down tournament for Fleury, but I would still lean on the side of him making the team.

Travis Dermott and Brandon Hickey both had quiet games at times, but in the end, expect them both to be in Finland this winter. Dermott had a goal in one of his two games patrolling the blue line, while Hickey, a dark horse, proved to be a safe, stay-at-home blue liner. Both made their play known in Calgary, giving them more of a chance to make the team.

But what about the rest of the defense? Roland McKeown struggled, as did Sanheim. Nicolas Roy was so-so, but made up for it with some solid decisions near the end. Plus, you can’t forget about guys that didn’t play, such as Matt Spencer, Mitch Vande Sompel or even Jakob Chychrun. All in all, Canada’s defensive fight will likely be the most interesting positional battle heading into the main tournament, and with junior hockey seasons on the horizon, many things can change rather quickly.

Undrafted wildcards: Every year, Canada tends to give chances to some of the younger, undrafted options around the country. This year, only one player, Julien Gauthier, came to camp before his NHL Draft. You can’t count out Logan Brown or Tyler Benson, a member of Canada’ Ivan Hlinka entry, just yet.

But what about defensemen like Kale Clauge or Jakob Chychrun? Both are outstanding young defenseman that should be potential members of the team once the real event takes place, and if Chychrun can stay healthy, he may actually be better than some of the choices that did make camp.

Follow me on twitter, @StevenEllisNHL.

About The Author

Steven took a different route towards his hockey interests. Starting out as a big Habs fan, he started to gravitate towards the more obscure levels of hockey, such as the low level tournaments in Asia, strange club matches between teams most people in North America can’t pronounce, and even some 3am contests between Bulgaria and New Zealand. Aside from his love for strange hockey events, Steven occasionally acts as a mediocre ball hockey goalie following a failed attempt at making it to the NHL as a fourth line house league grinder. Beyond hockey, Steven is an avid racing fan and loves to chat about NASCAR, F1, Indycar, you name it. Oh, and don’t get him started on music. That is, unless you want the whole history of metal and a guitar lesson. Currently, Steven is a credentialed media member with the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL, as well as with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. Steven has also hosted the television show "The Hockey House" on TVCogeco in Ontario, as well as a segment under the same with on LeafsTV in Toronto. Home page: http://www.thehockeyhouse.net

Related Posts

255 Responses

  1. hey

    Hi! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a
    quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading your articles.

    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics?
    Appreciate it!

    Reply
  2. furniture

    Thank you for another wonderful article. The place else may just anyone get that type of information in such a perfect means of writing?
    I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the look for such info.

    Reply
  3. Arthur

    If you prefer to keep it community, find out what they are
    able to provide you with to get started to get
    a low finances. As you start to see greater earnings volume, devote some of the profits in the direction of other SEO efforts.
    Repeat that process until you’ve got all you need and need firmly in place.

    Reply
  4. Ovanovarique

    owl online writing

    [url=][/url]

    order lab report writing sites

    Reply
  5. cialis

    HallieMarrio cialis no prescription does cialis really expire [url=http://buyscialisrx.com/]cialis coupon[/url]

    Reply
  6. Free auto approve list 9-25-2018

    I added a new blog post yesterday. There’s a smaller list
    than usual in it. I’m currently working on a bigger list.

    It’s going to take some time to compile it. I hope all of you
    are having a good week. I’m planning on doing some design changes to my
    site. I’m also thinking about adding some new things
    too. I’ll talk more about that in the days and weeks to come.

    Reply
  7. Free auto approve list 9-28-2018

    I’m working on a new list. I’m hopeful that this one will be much bigger.

    I made some announcements about my future site plans.
    I’m going to be adding some new stuff soon. You’ll definitely want to stay tuned
    for that. Thanks for your time and have a good weekend!

    Reply
  8. Free auto approve list 10-2-2018

    I just updated my site with a new list. I’ve also come
    to a new conclusion about how many of these links exist out there.
    I’m not too sure if my conclusion is right or not.
    Read all about it in my latest blog post. See you there!

    Reply
  9. abnehmpillen test

    Thanks for the good writeup. It in reality was a entertainment account it.
    Look complex to more delivered agreeable from you!
    However, how can we keep in touch?

    Reply
  10. unterstützung beim abnehmen tabletten

    Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m going to start my own blog in the near future but I’m
    having a difficult time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design seems
    different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.

    P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    Reply
  11. fucking

    Hello jyst wabted to gove you a quick heads up. The text in yyour content
    seem to be running offf the screen in Internet explorer.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with
    browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know.
    The layout look great though! Hope youu gget the issue solved soon. Kudos

    Reply
  12. boston limo service rates

    Thank you forr the good writeup. It in fact used
    to be a amusement account it. Glance advanced to far brought agreeable from you!
    However, how ccan wee be in contact?

    Reply
  13. viagra dosage first time

    You can definitely see your skills within thee work you write.
    The sectorr hope for even more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to mention how they
    believe. Always go after your heart.

    Reply
  14. Free Online Dating

    Hello there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate!

    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this article to him.

    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  15. bonus apostas online

    I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this site.
    I really hope to check out the same high-grade blog posts from you
    in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated
    me to get my very own blog now 😉

    Reply
  16. Casas De apostas com bonus

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the
    book in it or something. I think that you
    could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog.
    A great read. I’ll certainly be back.

    Reply
  17. bonus de casas de apostas

    Just desire to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your publish is simply cool and i can think you’re an expert in this subject.
    Fine with your permission let me to snatch your feed to
    keep up to date with impending post. Thank you one million and please continue the gratifying work.

    Reply
  18. Futebol Bets Apostas

    It’s truly very difficult in this active life to listen news on TV, thus I just use
    the web for that reason, and obtain the hottest information.

    Reply
  19. melhores apostas futebol

    Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I’m impressed!
    Very helpful info specifically the remaining part 🙂 I care for such info much.
    I was looking for this certain info for a long time.
    Thanks and good luck.

    Reply
  20. Apostas Futebol Online

    hello!,I love your writing so so much! percentage we communicate extra about your post on AOL?

    I require a specialist on this area to solve my problem.
    May be that is you! Having a look ahead to see you.

    Reply
  21. aposta de futebol

    Hi I am so grateful I found your site, I really found you by mistake, while I
    was browsing on Askjeeve for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would
    just like to say thanks for a tremendous post and a all round thrilling blog
    (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse
    it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds,
    so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the awesome b.

    Reply
  22. Casas De apostas bonus

    Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog
    jump out. Please let me know where you got your design. Thanks

    Reply
  23. Bonus Apostas online

    I’m really loving the theme/design of your website. Do
    you ever run into any internet browser compatibility
    problems? A couple of my blog readers have complained about
    my website not operating correctly in Explorer but
    looks great in Firefox. Do you have any suggestions to
    help fix this problem?

    Reply
  24. Casas de apostas bonus

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a
    lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message
    home a bit, but other than that, this is great blog.
    A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

    Reply
  25. casas de apostas desportivas

    I was wondering if you ever considered changing the layout of your
    blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.

    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

    Reply
  26. melhores casas de apostas

    Excellent post. Keep writing such kind of information on your page.
    Im really impressed by your blog.
    Hello there, You have done an incredible job.

    I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends.
    I’m confident they will be benefited from this web site.

    Reply
  27. nettikasinot ilmaista rahaa

    Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is important and all. However imagine
    if you added some great pictures or videos to
    give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with
    pics and video clips, this site could definitely be one of the greatest in its niche.
    Good blog!

    Reply
  28. nettikasinot

    Remarkable issues here. I am very satisfied to look your post.
    Thanks so much and I’m having a look forward to contact
    you. Will you please drop me a mail?

    Reply
  29. talletusbonus

    Excellent way of describing, and fastidious paragraph to take data regarding my presentation subject
    matter, which i am going to convey in academy.

    Reply
  30. melhor Site apostas desportivas

    Whats up are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and
    create my own. Do you need any coding knowledge to make your own blog?

    Any help would be really appreciated!

    Reply
  31. melhores sites de aposta

    Hey there, You’ve done an excellent job. I’ll certainly digg
    it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this website.

    Reply
  32. melhor site apostas

    Attractive element of content. I simply stumbled
    upon your website and in accession capital to say that I acquire in fact loved
    account your weblog posts. Any way I will be subscribing on your augment and even I
    achievement you access consistently quickly.

    Reply
  33. melhor site de aposta

    Hello this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with
    HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get guidance from someone
    with experience. Any help would be enormously
    appreciated!

    Reply
  34. melhor site apostas desportivas

    I don’t even understand how I stopped up here, however I thought
    this post used to be good. I do not recognize who you’re
    however certainly you are going to a well-known blogger should you aren’t already.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  35. Melhor site de apostas online

    Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue together with your website in internet
    explorer, would check this? IE still is the market chief
    and a good part of people will miss your excellent writing
    due to this problem.

    Reply
  36. site apostas esportivas

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I
    clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr…
    well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say great
    blog!

    Reply
  37. casa de aposta

    With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright violation? My site has
    a lot of unique content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but
    it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without
    my authorization. Do you know any methods to help stop content from being ripped off?
    I’d certainly appreciate it.

    Reply
  38. roblox hack

    If yoս are ɡoing for finest contents liкe I do, only pay a visit thiѕ site еvery dɑy as it offerѕ quality сontents,
    thanks

    Reply
  39. Snack Subscription

    Can I simply just say what a relief to find someone who genuinely understands what they’re talking
    about on the net. You actually understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More people should look at this and understand this side of your story.
    I can’t believe you’re not more popular since you certainly possess the gift.

    Reply
  40. psn card generator

    Ԍreetings І ɑm so grateful Ӏ fߋսnd youг web site, Ι really found ʏou by
    error, wһile І was lօoking on Yahoo fοr sⲟmething eⅼѕe, Regardⅼess Ӏ am here now and ᴡould just like t᧐ ѕay thɑnk you for ɑ marvelous post ɑnd a all
    round interеsting blog (I аlso love tһe theme/design), Ι don’t have time tߋ
    go tһrough it аll at the minute bսt Ι hɑve book-marked іt and ɑlso addeԁ your RSS feeds, so wһen I have time
    І wіll Ьe bacқ to read mοre, Pleaѕe do kеep up tһe fantastic
    ƅ.

    Reply
  41. toyota

    Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to
    assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog
    posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

    Reply
  42. centuries

    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say superb blog!

    Reply
  43. who's

    This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.

    I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post.
    Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks!

    Reply
  44. valenti

    When someone writes an post he/she retains the idea of a user in his/her brain that how a user
    can know it. Therefore that’s why this piece of writing is
    outstdanding. Thanks!

    Reply
  45. costume

    It is not my first time to pay a visit this website, i am browsing this website
    dailly and take pleasant data from here everyday.

    Reply
  46. talkin

    It is actually a nice and useful piece of info. I am happy that you just
    shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like
    this. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  47. hatch

    My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.

    I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on numerous websites for about a
    year and am nervous about switching to another platform.
    I have heard great things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
  48. janis

    In fact when someone doesn’t understand after that its up
    to other visitors that they will help, so here it occurs.

    Reply
  49. consideration

    Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all people you actually realize what you are speaking approximately!
    Bookmarked. Kindly additionally seek advice
    from my website =). We may have a link change contract between us

    Reply
  50. boards

    My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different page and thought I might as well check things
    out. I like what I see so now i’m following you.
    Look forward to looking over your web page for a second time.

    Reply
  51. where to buy hair loss products

    My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different web address and thought I
    might check things out. I like what I see so
    now i am following you. Look forward to finding out about your web page for a second time.

    Reply
  52. what products to use for hair loss

    That is very fascinating, You are an overly skilled blogger.
    I’ve joined your feed and look ahead to looking for more of your excellent
    post. Additionally, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

    Reply
  53. Free auto approve list 10-17-2018

    There’s been a lot of changes since I last left a comment
    about my site. I’m starting to add the new features that
    I’ve wanted to. I hope in the next few weeks that all of it will be up and running.
    It’s going to take time and I haven’t had much
    of it to dedicate to this project. I thank you all for visiting my site and I hope you have a great weekend!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*