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World junior camp observations: 2023 draft eligibility, Canada and US roster projections

The US and Canada each held World Junior camps final week, with the US holding a holding camp for its 2022 and 2023 invitees and Canada just for these into consideration for the 2023 World Juniors in Halifax/Moncton — not the upcoming one in Edmonton this month. Listed below are some observations from each camps in addition to projected rosters for each groups heading into this winter’s event.


Staff Canada camp commentary

Colton Dach, C, Chicago: Dach, Kirby Dach’s youthful brother, shocked me by how totally different he was at camp. I assumed he introduced good vitality to go together with his traditional expertise and created lots across the high-percentage zone. He is a prospect who has risen quickly over the previous few years and appears like he is on his approach to changing into a reliable NHL participant who may also help a staff.

Corson Ceulemans, RHD, Columbus: For my part Ceulemans struggled in his second 12 months on the U20 camp. His skating and ability are clear and he has good dimension, however his puck motion and determination making had been questionable and the tempo appeared too quick at occasions. He has a wealthy Hockey Canada observe report so I feel he is nonetheless very a lot within the combine but when he would not have an excellent first half in Wisconsin he will not make the staff.

Brandt Clark, RHD, Los Angeles: I need to preface this earlier than the Kings followers include knives at me by saying that Clark is excellent, I feel he’ll make the 2023 world junior staff and I assumed he performed nicely on this camp. His ability and imaginative and prescient are evident and he was capable of make lots occur, particularly on the offensive finish. That being mentioned, for a former top-10 decide in his second U20 camp, I wasn’t impressed together with his play. His skating nonetheless appears to be like very tough. His protection is nice when he can anticipate a play, however he struggles when he wants to begin the chase or is below strain. As one NHL scout advised me, “He was good, however I did not assume he seemed like a man who was a lock to make the staff.”

Luca del Bell Belluz, C, Columbus: Dale Bell Belluz was extraordinarily spectacular in his two video games as Canada White’s greatest participant. This efficiency was good to see after DBB’s lackluster efficiency within the OHL playoffs, which led many NHL scouts to marvel if he had run out of fuel. DBB was making a variety of performs, operating the ability play successfully and creating even with energy, even when he wasn’t the quickest participant.

Ethan Del Mastro, LHD, Chicago: I did not assume Del Mastro was something wonderful, however he seemed like a gradual defenseman in a powerful OHL season. He made sensible shops, he made occasional jumpers and was a powerful defender. His skating and expertise aren’t inspiring, however similar to how his function grew in his U18 world, he might break into this staff with extra video games like this.


Ethan Del Mastro. (Charles Warburton)

Adam Fantilli, LW, 2023 Draft Eligible: Fantilly was strong within the camp. He generates some offense, however I can not say he generates a ton. Nonetheless, his pure athleticism was evident. He has a giant body and might skate with that in thoughts. He was capable of create many managed exits and entrances together with his velocity and win battles attributable to his sheer power.

Jaeger Firkus, RW, Seattle: Firkus was firmly within the camp. Displaying off his ability and offensive IQ, he had many pictures and scoring alternatives. He lacks dimension and tempo. And whereas he hasn’t been wonderful in camp, he must be lights out within the first half to make the staff.

Christian Kyrou, RHD, Dallas: I do not know if Cairo can construct a staff with gamers like Olen Zellweger and Clark, but when this staff ever decides they want offense/power-play assist, he’ll be one of many first names that come up. His expertise and offensive IQ had been evident in camp. His dimension and skating are much less spectacular, however you give him the puck within the O-zone and he is a menace.

Tristan Luneau, RHD, Anaheim: Luna had an excellent 12 months, however inferior to anticipated for a 16-year-old QMJHL choice. So it was a little bit of a pleasing shock that he not solely held his personal within the U20 camp, however was good at it. Luneau moved the puck very nicely, and was capable of make performs that created scoring alternatives. His protection is not nice, however his offensive recreation seemed legit.

Fraser Minten, LW, Toronto: Minten wasn’t a standout, however I favored a few of the issues he was capable of do, particularly within the offensive zone. On one other Canada Pink power-play unit, the puck drifted by way of him and he was capable of create an opportunity. He additionally displayed a powerful work ethic. There’s nothing flawed together with his skating, however it’s nonetheless not an asset, and that is why he is most likely a 12 months away from being within the U20 combine.

Ethan Samson, RHD, Philadelphia: Samson was a late decide by the Flyers in 2021. I can not sit right here and let you know he’ll make the world junior staff, by no means thoughts the NHL, however I do not assume he appears to be like misplaced with this group of gamers. He’s sensible, has good arms and is a proper shot defender with an excellent body. If his skating comes up somewhat bit, he may very well be an actual shock.

Projected 2023 Staff Canada Lineup

I am simply assuming Mason McTavish will not be obtainable within the pool of obtainable gamers.

Brennan Othman – Shane Wright – Dylan Guenther

Zachary Bolduc – Connor Bedard – Logan Stankoven

Fantilly — Wyatt Johnston — Matthew Savoie

Zach Ostapchuk – Nathan Goucher – Zach Dean

Joshua Roy (thirteenth) – Dale Belluz

Carson Lambos – I am Zellweger

Denton Matechuk – Clark

Del Mastro – Kevin Korchinsky

Nolan Allen (seventh D) — Seulemans

Benjamin Gaudreau

Thomas Millick

Tyler Brennan

I feel there are a variety of candidates for the previous couple of spots, among the many forwards. Conor Geekie, Riley Kidney, Chase Stillman, Ryan Winterton, Olivier Nadeau, Nate Danielson, Dach, Reid Shaffer, Zachary L’Heureux and Justin Robidas all have honest circumstances.

There are much less drastic calls on protection. It is going to come right down to what kind of participant they assume is missing. If they need extra dimension and mobility, Allen, Seulemans and Owen Pickering will get the sting, and if they need extra offense, Luneau or Kieru would possibly get the nod. My guess is for a blue line that already has Zellweger, Clark, Matechuk and Korchinski, Canada wants extra shutdown varieties and for that purpose one of many 4 is prone to be reduce.

– Corey Pronman


Staff USA Camp Observations

Charlie Strummel, C, 2023 Draft Eligible: Strummel was a wrecking ball for a lot of the weekend and it is definitely exceptional to see the 17-year-old’s bodily presence on the Beneath-20 camp. Add in his sturdy skating to his dimension and the truth that he performs heart, and it is simple to get enthusiastic about Strammel’s potential. I see a Brady Tkachuk starter package, and if Strammel can put collectively a productive freshman season at Wisconsin, he ought to have an opportunity to be drafted in the identical class as Tkachuk, who went No. 4 in 2018.

Aidan Thompson, C, Chicago: Thompson had an incredible camp, with USA coach Nate Leaman calling him “the largest shock to this point” of the week and praising his playmaking, competitors stage and hockey sense. There have been indications that he would make the staff for subsequent week’s occasion, however he suffered a knee from Tyler Boucher late in Sunday’s combined bout that knocked him out of the occasion. No long-term replace has been given but, however certainly everybody will probably be hoping for a speedy restoration from Thompson, who will probably be a freshman in Denver subsequent season.

Brock Faber, RHD, Minnesota: Faber was anticipated to be probably the greatest gamers this camp, so it wasn’t a shock to see him carry out nicely, however his defensive stick and skating actually stood out. That mixture permits him to hit a variety of performs regardless of his common dimension, and it is simple to see why the Wild focused him within the Kevin Fiala deal.


Brock Faber. (Michael Katrina / South Bend Tribune / USA At this time)

Lane Hutson, LHD, Montreal: Hutson will not make the 2022 staff and will probably be in a crowded competitors for the 2023 group — which already has a number of returners with PP duties on the left facet. His offense might be dynamic, and whereas his dimension will probably be a hindrance defensively, he is a sensible sufficient participant that I feel he’ll get at the very least one lengthy look this winter.

Tyler Boucher, RW, Ottawa: Clearly, a collision with Thompson was a troublesome approach to finish a scrimmage recreation, however I assumed Boucher was probably the greatest gamers on the ice earlier within the weekend within the 2023 scrimmage — scoring twice in regulation and once more on three-on-three performs, all in his typical fashion. Whereas taking part in the sting. I favored him once more in Sunday’s opening mixed-team recreation, when he additionally scored a disruptive forecheck, however he obtained into penalty hassle late on.

Dominic James, C, Chicago: James performs an incredible energy recreation, however he additionally has a formidable shot, and the Blackhawks’ 2022 sixth-rounder appears to be like like he might step right into a top-nine function on the 2022 staff with PK tasks.

Cutter Gauthier, C/LW, Philadelphia: Gauthier wasn’t dangerous, and nonetheless confirmed his massive shot, however ideally you’ll have favored to see somewhat extra from the 2022 No. 5 decide. I nonetheless anticipate him to play a giant function on the 2023 staff, and I actually like him as a prospect, however he wasn’t as persistently eye-catching to me as a few of the different high 2022 draftees this weekend.

Frank Nazar, C/W, Chicago: Nazar impressed by way of the spherical of 2022 staff cuts after Sunday’s match. He performed on the wing and confirmed off his quickness all through the weekend, scoring two targets within the 2023 scrimmage.

Aidan Hreschuk, LHD, Columbus: Hreshchuk scored twice in Sunday’s combined play, making him surpass Sunday’s cuts. We’ll see if he makes the ultimate roster for subsequent week, however his clean skating and protection ought to put him in good place to earn a spot on the 2023 staff regardless.

Projected 2023 Staff USA Lineup

Gauthier – Logan Cooley – Jimmy Snagrud

Nazar – Strammel – Sasha Pastuzov

Rutger McGroarty – Chaz Lucious – Boucher

Sam Lipkin – Pink Savage – Justin Jennick

Owen McLaughlin (thirteenth) – Ryan Leonard

Luke Hughes – Hreshuk

Jack Peart – Shai Boym

Shawn Behrens – Ryan Chesley

Hutson (seventh D) – Ty Gallagher

Andrew OK

Kaidan Mbereko

Tyler Mujelic

Granted, it is a bit of a dart throw on my half to venture McLaughlin, however his particular person expertise and shot had been spectacular in camp, and he obtained loads of power-play appears to be like alongside the half wall in Sunday’s scrimmage. However there must be good competitors for these closing roster spots, with Cam Lund, Isaac Howard, Jack Devine, Connor Kurth, Jack Hughes, Dylan Duke, Jackson Blake, Ty Voight and Kenny Connors all projected right here.

The protection goes to be attention-grabbing, because the US is a bit overloaded with small ‘D’s who’re greatest fitted to the ability play. Past the group right here, a few of the next-best choices embody Ryan Ufko — who’s a giant sufferer of this projection — and nice skater Seamus Casey, who’re each 5-foot-10. Maybe hulking right-shot defenseman Roman Schmidt might work his approach up the depth chart between now and December, giving the U.S. a bit extra dimension within the lineup, however proper now the very best eight guys will probably embody Ufko — which does not add as much as an excellent staff construct for the People.

– Max Bultmann

(Prime picture by Luca del Bel Belluz: Chris Tanuye/Getty Photos)

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