Leafs and the World Juniors: First Thoughts

Leafs and the World Juniors: First Thoughts

Team Canada has effectively named their roster for the World Junior Championships to take place in Malmo Sweden starting on Boxing Day.  Having had a little bit of time to digest their decisions from a Leafs perspective, here are some of my thoughts.

No Matt Finn

The biggest surprise on Team Canada’s roster from a Leafs perspective is Matt Finn’s omission.  Finn is an all-situations defenseman whose biggest weakness in his game is probably his physicality – an element which is considerably less important on International ice.  I’m surprised he didn’t make the team (almost as surprised as I was when I heard Nurse was left at home) but the truth of the matter is, Canada has a deep team and Finn, even in my mind, was probably only 60-40 to make the team.

Gauthier Yes, Brown No

If you look purely at the statistical side of our prospects, the idea of bringing Gauthier over Connor Brown is a little confounding.  Again, I feel that the International ice was at play here.  Brown may have the better hands of the two but Gauthier is a stronger skater and is also better equipped to play a defensive role with the team.  Team Canada rarely takes an All-Star team to these events and instead opts to take players to fill very specific roles.  I’m sure filling the checking role with a youngster with a mature defensive game was a motive here.

Rielly?

Apparently the Leafs have informed Team Canada that Morgan Rielly will be released to play with the National Squad if he isn’t playing regularly with the Leafs at the time of the tournament (December 19 cut off). Trying to predict how Randy Carlyle will deploy his players is a fool’s errand as far as I’m concerned so I won’t even hazard a guess, but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all to see Rielly playing 20 minutes a game in this tourney; helping lead the Canadian team while gaining confidence and feeling good about himself after going in and out of the press box with the Leafs wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen.  Rielly’s skating on the big rink would be a thing to behold, and there’s little doubt that he would be one of the primary options on the blueline for the team in the event that he’s released.

2014 Team Canada Roster

Name
S/C
Ht.
Wt.
Born
Hometown
Club Team
Pro Status

Goaltenders

Zachary FucaleL/G6'1"1765/28/1995Rosemre, Que./QcHalifax (QMJHL)MTL '13 (2, 36)
Jake PatersonL/G6'0"1855/3/1994Mississauga, Ont.Saginaw (OHL)DET '12 (3, 80)

Defence

Chris BigrasL/G6'0.5"1892/22/1995Woodland Beach, Ont.Owen Sound (OHL)COL '13 (2, 32)
Mathew DumbaR/D6'0"1837/25/1994Calgary, Alta./Alb.Minnesota (NHL)MIN '12 (1, 7)
Aaron EkbladR/D6'3.5"2162/7/1996Belle River, Ont.Barrie (OHL)2014 Dft/Rep.
Josh MorrisseyL/G6'0"1843/28/1995Calgary, Alta./Alb.Prince Albert (WHL)WPG '13 (1, 13)
Adam PelechÊL/G6'2"2158/16/1994Toronto, Ont.Erie (OHL)NYI '12 (3, 65)
Derrick PouliotL/G6'0"2031/16/1994Weyburn, Sask.Portland (WHL)PIT '12 (1, 8)
Griffin ReinhartL/G6'3.5"2121/24/1994West Vancouver, B.C./C.-B.Edmonton (WHL)NYI '12 (1, 4)
Damon SeversonR/D6'2"1988/7/1994Melville, Sask.Kelowna (WHL)NJ '12 (2, 60)

Forwards

Josh AndersonR/D6'2"1995/7/1994Burlington, Ont.London (OHL)CBJ '12 (4, 95)
Jonathan DrouinL/G5'11"1853/28/1995Huberdeau, Que./QcHalifax (QMJHL)TB '13 (1, 3)
FrŽdŽrik GauthierL/G6'4"2154/26/1995Mascouche, Que./QcRimouski (QMJHL)TOR '13 (1, 21)
FŽlix GirardR/D5'11"1905/9/1994LŽvis, Que./QcBaie-Comeau (QMJHL)NSH '13 (4, 95)
Bo HorvatL/G6'0"2034/5/1995Rodney, Ont.London (OHL)VAN '13 (1, 9)
Charles HudonL/G5'10,5"1756/23/1994Boisbriand, Que./QcChicoutimi (QMJHL)MTL '12 (5, 122)
Scott LaughtonL/G6'1"1905/30/1994Oakville, Ont.Oshawa (OHL)PHI '12 (1, 20)
Curtis LazarR/D6'0"1982/2/1995Vernon, B.C./C.-B.Edmonton (WHL)OTT '13 (1, 17)
Taylor LeierL/G5'11"1772/15/1994Saskatoon, Sask.Portland (WHL)PHI '12 (4, 117)
Anthony ManthaL/G6'5"2049/16/1994Longueuil, Que./QcVal-d'Or (QMJHL)DET '13 (1, 20)
Connor McDavidL/G6'0"1821/13/1997Newmarket, Ont.Erie (OHL)2015 Dft/Rep
Nic PetanL/G5'9"1663/22/1995Delta, B.C./C.-B.Portland (WHL)WPG '13 (2, 43)
Sam ReinhartR/D6'1"18311/6/1995West Vancouver, B.C./C.-B.Kootenay (WHL)2014 Dft/Rep.
Kerby RychelL/G6'1"20510/7/1994Tecumseh, Ont.Windsor (OHL)CBJ '13 (1, 19)
Hunter ShinkarukL/G5'10.5"18110/13/1994Calgary, Alta./Alb.Medicine Hat (WHL)VAN '13 (1, 24)

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