Canada makes final cuts from WJC selection camp roster

BOISBRIAND, Que. — The dream of playing in the world junior hockey championship is over for five players cut from Canada’s team on Wednesday night.

Goaltender Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack, defencemen Guillaume Brisebois of the Charlottetown Islanders and Samuel Girard of the Shawinigan Cataractes, and forwards Sam Steel of the Regina Pats and Zach Senyshyn of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds got the bad news from Hockey Canada brass shortly after the team’s 8-0 victory over the Czech Republic in a pre-tournament game.

“It’s always difficult, especially this year and especially after this game — those guys pushed it down to the wire,” said coach Dominique Ducharme. “The part that’s not fun is to meet the five guys and tell them they didn’t make it, but we’re really happy with the 22 guys we have and we look forward to moving ahead with those guys.”

There were 31 players when the team selection camp opened on Sunday. Four were cut on Tuesday — defenceman Victor Mete of the London Knights and forwards Brett Howden of the Moose Jaw Warriors, Nick Merkley of the Kelowna Rockets and Austin Wagner of the Pats.

The final roster for the Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 tournament in Toronto and Montreal has two goalies, seven defencemen and 13 forwards.

Mathew Barzal F R 6’0 187 05-26-1997 Coquitlam, B.C. Seattle (WHL)
Anthony Cirelli F L 6’0 165 07-15-1997 Woodbridge, Ont. Oshawa (OHL)
Dillon Dube F L 5’10 180 07-20-1998 Cochrane, Alta. Kelowna (WHL)
Pierre-Luc Dubois F L 6’3 202 06-24-1998 Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Que Blaineville (QMJHL)
Julien Gauthier F R 6’4 224 10-15-1997 Pointe-aux-Trembles, Que. Val-d’Or (QMJHL)
Mathieu Joseph F L 6’1 171 02-09-1997 Chambly, Que. Saint John (QMJHL)
Tyson Jost F L 6’0 190 03-17-1998 Kelowna, B.C. U. of North Dakota (WCHA)
Michael McLeod F R 6’2 187 02-03-1998 Mississauga, Ont. Mississauga (OHL)
Taylor Raddysh F R 6’2 209 02-18-1998 Caledon, Ont. Erie (OHL)
Nicolas Roy F R 6’4 202 02-05-1997 Amos, Que. Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
Blake Speers F R 6’0 184 01-02-1997 Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
Mitchell Stephens F R 6’0 195 02-05-1997 Peterborough, Ont. Saginaw (OHL)
Dylan Strome F L 6’3 194 03-07-1997 Mississauga, Ont. Erie (OHL)
Jake Bean D L 6’1 170 06-09-1998 Calgary, Alta. Calgary (WHL)
Thomas Chabot D L 6’2 188 01-30-1997 Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce, Que Saint John (QMJHL)
Kale Clague D L 6’0 177 06-05-1998 Lloydminster, Alta. Brandon (WHL)
Dante Fabbro D R 6’1 190 06-20-1998 Coquitlam, B.C. Boston University (HE)
Noah Juulsen D R 6’2 185 04-02-1997 Abbostford, B.C. Everett (WHL)
Jeremy Lauzon D L 6’2 207 04-28-1997 Val-d’Or, Que. Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)
Philippe Myers D L 6’4 206 01-25-1997 Moncton, N.B. Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL)
Carter Hart G L 6’1 170 08-13-1998 Sherwood Park, Alta. Everett (WHL)
Connor Ingram G L 6’1 195 03-31-1997 Imperial, Sask. Kamloops (WHL)

The surprise cut was Girard, a skilled, attacking rearguard who looked good in camp.

“I think it was a question of fit for them,” said Girard, a Nashville Predators second-round draft pick who should get another chance to make the world junior squad next year. “I’ll go back to my junior team and perform there and be ready for next year.”

McNiven was in tough from the beginning, but made it a close battle with Carter Hart and Connor Ingram for the two goaltending jobs.

“I was the underdog but other than the first game I was pretty impressed with myself,” said McNiven, a Montreal Canadiens prospect. “I just hope the boys have a good time and bring home gold.”

Senyshyn, picked 15th overall by Boston in 2015, said he was disappointed but “I got to play with a lot of incredible players. I won’t forget the experience.”

Steel, picked 30th overall by Anaheim in June, looks forward to getting another chance to make the team next season.

“It’s tough now but I’m sure I’ll get through it and hopefully learn from it,” said Steel. “I thought I played a decent game, but there a lot of good players here.”

Article Written by Canadian Press of Sportsnet