Which QMJHL Players Will Make Team Canada?
Hockey Canada announced its selection camp roster Tuesday afternoon, and five QMJHL players are among invitees.
Mason McDonald, Thomas Chabot, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Julien Gauthier, and Anthony Beauvillier all warranted invites to the camp, which will be taking place from December 10-14 in Etobicoke, Ont. Which of the five players will crack the prestigious Canadian roster? Let’s break it down.
Mason McDonald, G, Charlottetown Islanders
After getting a look at last year’s summer evaluation camp, McDonald has made the Canadian roster. With the Halifax native and Mackenzie Blackwood (Barrie Colts) being the only two goaltenders included, it looks like the only question that remains is which goaltender will get the start come Boxing Day. Although Blackwood tops McDonald is all statistical categories, the latter does have experience with the Hockey Canada program (he was selected as the best goaltender at the 2014 World U-18 tournament) and that could him to inside track to being the starter.
Chance of making team: A+
Thomas Chabot, D, Saint John Sea Dogs
The Canadian team usually likes to bring d-man who are responsible at both ends of the ice. While Chabot fits this mould, he may find himself the odd man out among a talented, experienced defensive corps. 19-year-olds Joe Hicketts, Hayden Fleury, Roland McKeown, and Jake Walman appear to have roster spots nailed down. If the 18-year-old does make the team, he will probably occupy a situational role. He will be eligible next year though, so he stands to gain valuable experience either way.
Chance of making team: C
Anthony Beauvillier, F, Shawinigan Cataractes
By far the most recognizable name of the four skaters, Beauvillier’s chance with the U-20 team appears to have arrived. He has a good track record with the Canadian program, having been an assistant captain at the U-17 championships and had three goals at last year’s U-18 worlds. But is he ready to make the jump? Next year (assuming he doesn’t make the NHL), he will be counted on as a top six forward, so it is viable that management brings him along to get a taste of what the World Juniors are like, in a situation where he won’t be asked to carry the load. He’s a shoe-in in 2017, but his participation this year isn’t guaranteed.
Chance of making team: B
Pierre-Luc Dubois, F, Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
Many have been calling the 17-year-old 2016’s version of Lawson Crouse. Unfortunately for Dubois, team Canada already has a player like that. His name is…Lawson Crouse. If Dubois does make the team, it will be because of his scoring ability. He is one of only five forwards on the roster to have more than 40 points. Dubois’ size will never come into question – he stands 6’3″, 200 lbs. – but the brass will keep an eye on how he matches up against the older players.
Chance of making team: C
Julien Gauthier, F, Val-d’Or Foreurs
Gauthier’s frame (6’4″) and his stat line (23 goals in 27 games) have people seeing scenes of his former teammate, Anthony Mantha. Mantha tore up the 2014 tournament, leading the Canadians in goals and points. Although he is draft eligible this year, Gauthier has two full seasons of major junior hockey under his belt, not to mention his experience at the U-17 World Championships and the 2014 Memorial Cup. The latter two events gave him plenty of playing time in front of the Hockey Canada brass.
Chance of making team: B+
Which player or players do you think will crack Team Canada? Let us know in our Twitter poll!
— The Q News (@TheQNews_Net) December 4, 2015