Teams across Europe are on their way to Edmonton for the World Junior Championship as Team Canada jumped on the ice for their on-ice training on Friday. The Canadian club has been holding its selection camp in Red Deer, Alta., about 150 kilometres south of Edmonton and is getting ready to face Team Germany on Monday, Dec. 26.
Friday was an important day in the team’s preparation as the leadership group was announced at the end of practice. Kirby Dach was named captain of Canada’s team for the upcoming world junior hockey championship, along with Bowen Byram and Dylan Cozens as alternates.
Team Canada found the perfect way to make the announcement to the players themselves. Edmonton Oilers star player and captain Connor McDavid was included, appearing in a video message projected on the large scoreboard to congratulate the boys.
That’s quite a way to pump up the players before the tournament. This was first reported by Mark Masters of TSN.
As long has gotten off the rails and not according to plans ever since the team got together because the final selection of the roster. The tournament will be played in a bubble without fans at Edmonton’s Rogers Place in hopes of keeping the coronavirus out, but the International Ice Hockey Federation announced earlier Friday that eight players on the German team and two members of Sweden’s staff had tested positive.
Who knows : maybe McDavid was expected to make the announcement in person but wasn’t able to in order to respect all pandemic restrictions.
Still, a video message from him is a great way to kick off Team Canada’s journey in the WJC.