Hockey Canada invited 18 forwards, 10 defencemen and four goaltenders to its selection camp roster at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario, starting Tuesday.
Among those young players are three Vancouver Canucks prospects in goaltender Michael DiPietro, who should be a lock to make the team, albeit as a backup behind Team Canada stalwart Carter Hart; forward Kole Lind, Vancouver's first of two second-round picks in last year's draft who is ripping up the junior circuit with the Kelowna Rockets; and the other second-rounder, forward Jonah Gadjovich, who is riding shotgun with one of the best prospects in the game, the Vegas Golden Knights' Nick Suzuki.
While DiPietro's spot on the team is all but guaranteed, Gadjovich and Lind aren't locks at all, despite putting up strong numbers on their respective teams. Lind had mono earlier in the year which set him back a tad, while Gadjovich missed a few games with a wrist injury.
Both are healthy now and scoring, as Lind has 34 points in 21 games, while Gadjovich has scored 19 goals in 25 contests with the Ontario Hockey League's Owen Sound Attack.
The problem is that so is every other prospect on Team Canada. The country's entry to the tournament is always chock-full of the top players in junior hockey, so we'll have to wait and see if Vancouver's youngsters make it on.
If not, Canucks fans might be cheering for other teams. Sweden's Elias Pettersson is having one hell of a season in the Swedish Hockey League, while Olli Juolevi and Will Lockwood are safe bets to make their national teams in Finland and the U.S., respectively.More