As expected, the injured Dana Tyrell has been replaced with the WHLâ€™s Evander Kane, and Team Canada prepares for their second exhibition game tonight against Team Finland.
Evander Kane of the Vancouver Giants was a surprise cut from the team last week; fast forward to now and heâ€™s where he rightfully belongs. The 2009 draft eligible forward is playing a comfortable season thus far posting 22 goals and 26 assists in 28 games â€“ already exceeding his previous season total of 41 points. Heâ€™s a smallish center with tons of grit and an eye for the net.
As much as it will be great to see him in action, the loss of Tyrell removes a physical force the team required. He was unable to crack the lineup last year due to a knee injury thus making the situation doubly frustrating for the young Lightning prospect this time around. There is no final say on how bad of an injury it is, but the management claims it to be substantial and it will likely sideline him for the duration of the tournament.
Team Canada skated with the following lines in todayâ€™s practice, but it is expected Kane will take the place of DiDomenico on second line, but donâ€™t be surprised if they pull Eberle down to join Esposito and go with a three line punch, not that they werenâ€™t already.
Boychuk – Hodgson – Eberle
Benn – Tavares – DiDomenico
Esposito – Sonne – Ennis
Subban – Cormier – Della Rovere
Dale Hawerchuk joined the team in practice today to help out in whatever way he could. Itâ€™s great to see lots of hockey talent coaching these young players to improve their game. Hockey Canada definitely understands what is required to elevate the talent we grow faster than corn fields.
Canadaâ€™s first game will be Boxing Day against the Czech Republic.
Micheal A. Aldred