The road to the 2020 World Juniors in Ostrava and Trinec, Czech Republic got underway last week in Plymouth, Michigan as USA Hockey hosted the 2019 World Junior Summer Showcase featuring other competitors in Canada, Sweden and Finland.
The Canadian squad assembled in Plymouth had 38 players in attendance including 14 from the Ontario Hockey League. Canada looks to get back into contention this year following a disappointing sixth place finish on home ice in Vancouver this past January.
Of the 14 OHL players that attended camp, Ryan Suzuki (Barrie Colts) and Jamieson Rees (Sarnia Sting) were the only two gold medalists from last summer’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup squad that won in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta. Four players (Bahl, Foudy, Noel, Thomas) were back at Canada’s National Junior Team Summer Development Camp for a second straight year.
Returning centreman Barrett Hayton (Soo Greyhounds) and 19-year-old forward Ty Dellandrea (Flint Firebirds) both received invitations to camp but weren’t be able to participate, leading to the additions of Winnipeg Jets prospect Declan Chisholm (Peterborough Petes) and Carolina Hurricanes second round pick Jamieson Rees (Sarnia Sting).
Canada played to an overall record of 2-2, scoring victories over the United States and Sweden while suffering losses to the United States and Finland.
American forward Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs) led all OHL players in Showcase scoring with four points (3-1–4) in three contests. Aidan Dudas (Owen Sound Attack) and Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs) each recorded three points in as many games.
In the crease, Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes) led all Canadian netminders with a 1.00 goals-against average and .955 save percentage in two appearances.
Here’s a closer look at last week’s action as well as the 14 OHL players who attended in Plymouth.
Tuesday July 30th – Canada 4, United States 1
WHL forwards Kirby Dach (Saskatoon Blades) and Nolan Foote (Kelowna Rockets) each had three points, with the former scoring twice in the contest while the latter had a goal and two helpers. Joe Veleno (Drummondville Voltigeurs) also bolstered the Canadian cause with a goal. Notable OHL contributions came from Minnesota Wild prospect Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes) who turned aside 13 of the 14 shots he faced, following up a perfect 17-save effort from Olivier Rodrigue (Moncton Wildcats). The Americans outshot Canada 31-22, with Cole Caufield providing their lone goal in the loss. A total of nine OHL players were in the lineup for Tuesday’s win. GAME SUMMARY
Wednesday July 31st – Finland 8, Canada 3
The defending World Junior gold medalists from Finland took out a 5-0 lead in the first period and never looked back, skating to an 8-3 win over Canada on Wednesday afternoon. Florida Panthers prospect Serron Noel (Oshawa Generals) was a bright spot for Canada, accounting for two of the three goals while Washington Capitals first round pick Connor McMichael (London Knights) also tallied. Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs) registered an assist. Finland’s Toni Utunen scored twice and added an assist while Kristian Tanus finished with four helpers. The Finns outshot Canada 37-26, going 2-for-6 on the power play to Canada’s 1-for-2 mark. GAME SUMMARY
Friday August 2nd – Canada 5, Sweden 2
Canada climbed out to a 3-0 lead by the midway point of the second period and closed out a 5-2 victory over Sweden in World Junior Summer Showcase action on Friday. Los Angeles Kings prospects Akil Thomas (Niagara IceDogs) and Aidan Dudas (Owen Sound Attack) starred in the victory with the former picking up a goal and an assist while the latter added three helpers. Connor McMichael (London Knights) also found the back of the net while Hunter Jones (Peterborough Petes) was perfect in the opening half of the game, stopping all nine shots he faced. Benoit-Olivier Groulx (Halifax Mooseheads), Gabriel Fortier (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) and Carson Focht (Calgary Hitmen) accounted for other Canada goals. GAME SUMMARY
Saturday August 3rd – United States 5, Canada 3
Third period goals from Joel Farabee and Ryan Johnson pushed the United States past Canada 5-3 in Saturday’s World Junior Summer Showcase finale. The U.S. came away with a 2-1 lead after one period as Oliver Wahlstrom and Cole Caufield scored power play goals while Canada’s Braden Schneider (Brandon Wheat Kings) struck shorthanded. Early second period goals from Nolan Foote (Kelowna Rockets) and Joe Veleno (Drummondville Voltigeurs) put Canada in the lead 3-2 before the U.S. tied things up before the intermission on a goal from K’Andre Miller. Farabee and Johnson put the U.S. ahead for good in the third as the Americans outshot Canada 34-31 in the contest. Liam Foudy (London Knights) registered an assist for Canada in the loss. GAME SUMMARY
14 OHL PLAYERS ATTENDING CANADA’S NATIONAL JUNIOR TEAM SUMMER SHOWCASE:
Ryan Suzuki (C)
Ty Dellandrea (C)*
Riley Damiani (C)
Liam Foudy (LW)
Connor McMichael (C)
Thomas Harley (D)
Akil Thomas (C)
Philip Tomasino (RW)
Allan McShane (LW)
Serron Noel (RW)
Kevin Bahl (D)
Owen Sound Attack:
Aidan Dudas (C)
Declan Chisholm (D)
Hunter Jones (G)
Jamieson Rees (C)
Barrett Hayton (C)*
*invited to camp but unable to participate
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