Team Canada has made its final cuts and named its 25-man roster on Friday. This comes after the Canadian team announced seven cuts on Thursday, including 16-year-old Shane Wright and Washington Capitals first-round pick Hendrix Lapierre.
This is what the official roster of the club looks like for the upcoming tournament.
Quinton Byfield, who is a returning player
Dylan Cozens, who is a returning player
Dawson Mercer, who is a returning player
Connor McMichael, who is a returning player
Bowen Byram, who is a returning player
Jamie Drysdale, who is a returning player
The following players were released:
Forwards (6): Mavrik Bourque, Graeme Clarke, Gage Goncalves, Seth Jarvis, Samuel Poulin & Jamieson Rees
Defence (3) : Lukas Cormier, Ryan O’Rourke & Donovan Sebrango
Fans had fear that some teams could entirely drop out of the tournament due to many positive cases of COVID-19. Earlier this week, it was reported that Canadian hopefuls Matthew Robertson, Mason Millman, Xavier Simoneau, Dryden Hunt and Ridly Greig were all listed as “unfit to play” and “unable to continue camp.” At that time, Hockey Canada’s VP of Hockey Operations Scott Salmand admitted that entire teams may be forced to drop out of the tournament but that the tournament could go ahead with just eight teams. Canada’s 46 invited players quarantined for 14 days midway through camp after two players tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Five players were released for health reasons before the players returned to the ice Tuesday.
This has been mostly due to teams training in separate areas and planning to play the tournament within the “bubble” in Edmonton. But, unlike the National Hockey League, the IIHF has been unable to keep the virus out of their bubble.
Insider Bob McKenzie has had a crack at predicting what the lineup will look like, with potential lines and pairings on the back end. The TSN veteran believes that two unites could remain intact: Dylan Cozens between Connor McMichael and Kirby Dach; Alex Newhook between Dylan Holloway and Jakob Pelletier. McKenzie notes that there is a lot of flexibility with multiple centres on the team who can also play wing but, for now, Quinton Byfield, Connor Zary and Ryan Suzuki join Cozens and Newhook as the listed centres.
20 of the 22 players on the Canadian roster are first-round picks including all 14 forwards. The two exceptions are Kaedan Korczak (2nd round) and Jordan Spence (4th round).
The tournament is set to get underway on Christmas Day with 10 countries battling it out from the bubble in Edmonton. Teams are set to arrive on Sunday.
The American team is expected to name its final and official roster on Saturday morning.