The Ottawa Senators will have a presence at this year’s World Junior Championships in Calgary and Edmonton. So far, preliminary rosters have been named for many countries and there have been some Sens prospects who have got the call, at least to selection camps. Perhaps even bigger news was the absence of a couple of last summer’s first round picks who were left off their respective countries’ invite list.
Mark Stone, captain of the Brandon Wheat Kings and the WHL’s leading scorer got the invite to the selection camp beginning Dec 10th. First round pick in 2011, Peterborough Petes’ forward Matt Puempel, who atteneded the summer development camp, was excluded from the list of 41 invitees.
Shane Prince of the Ottawa 67′s was named to the preliminary roster for Team US, while first round pick Stefan Noesen was not. It could be partially due to pressure from the NCAA for USA hockey to pick NCAA players for the team to encourage young players to choose University hockey over Canadian Junior hockey. Noesen, who plays for the Plymouth Whalers, was at theUSA’s development camp in the summer but was one of a few noticeable CHL players left off the list.
Forward Mika Zibanejad, the 6th overall pick from this past summer, and defenseman Fredrik Claesson (2011 5th round pick) were named to the 23 man roster and will be playing in the tournament for the Tre Kroner, who missed the podium last year.
The final player who will likely be a participant under the Senators’ umbrella is Czech winger Jakob Culek, from the Rimouski Oceanic in the QMJHL. He was Ottawa’s first pick, in the third round of the 2010 entry draft and has been named to the Czech development camp roster.
Canada, the US and the Czech Republic are all in the same pool for the opening round of the tournament, so you will get a chance to (hopefully) see Stone, Prince and Culek play each other. Sweden is in the other pool, and will be a potential playoff opponent for Canada as the medal rounds commence.
There will be lots to keep your eye on over the holidays, which should make for some fun hockey viewing!
Thanks for reading and as always, comments are welcomed.
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