Last season, Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall led Team Canada in the U-20 WJHC in scoring. While they fell short of Team USA captain Derek Stepan, their 12 and 13 points respectively in only six games was impressive considering the talent level of their team.
As of right now Team Canada seems to have their roster set. According to The Toronto Star, their lineup will be derived from the following players:
Mark Visentin, Waterdown, Ont. Niagara (OHL); Olivier Roy, Causapscal, Que., Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL).
Jared Cowen, Allan, Sask., Spokane (WHL); Simon Despres, Laval, Que., Saint John (QMJHL); Dylan Olsen, Calgary, Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA); Erik Gudbranson, Orleans, Ont., Kingston (OHL); Ryan Ellis, Freelton, Ont., Windsor (OHL); Tyson Barrie, Victoria, Kelowna (WHL); Calvin de Haan, Carp, Ont., Oshawa (OHL).
Sean Couturier, Bathurst, N.B., Drummondville (QMJHL); Jaden Schwartz, Emerald Park, Sask., Colorado College (NCAA); Zack Kassian, LaSalle, Ont., Windsor (OHL); Brayden Schenn, Saskatoon, Brandon (WHL); Casey Cizikas, Mississauga, Ont., Mississauga St. Michael’s (OHL); Quinton Howden, Oak Bank, Man., Moose Jaw (WHL); Curtis Hamilton, Kelowna, B.C., Saskatoon (WHL); Marcus Foligno, Sudbury, Ont., Sudbury (OHL); Ryan Johansen, Port Moody, B.C., Portland (WHL); Louis Leblanc, Point-Claire, Que., Montreal (QMJHL); Cody Eakin, Winnipeg, Swift Current (WHL); Carter Ashton, Saskatoon, Tri-City (WHL); Brett Connolly, Port Hardy, B.C., Prince George (WHL).
The lone potential 2011 draftee appears to be Sean Couturier, who has the potential to be this season’s Hall. Similar to Hall, he made the team in his draft year while his main competitor Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will watch from Red Deer. Amongst forwards Johansen appears to be the highest drafted forward while last year’s third overall pick Gudbranson will lead the defensive core in that aspect.
You can definitely expect another strong tournament for Ellis while Schenn could prove to the Los Angeles Kings he belongs in the NHL. My dark horse for the tournament happens to be Connolly– who if healthy could have gone in the top-5 this past summer.
Enough of my jabbering, who do you think will lead Team Canada in scoring?