By: Ian Esplen
December 10, 2013 (ISN) – The other day, Hockey Canada announced its list of invitees to the final selection camp for Canada’s World Junior Team.
And like any other year, there was outrage from coast to coast about a few names being left off their very short list.
In Ontario, people were shocked that Darnell Nurse or Matt Murray won’t be at camp. In Quebec and the Maritimes, people were shocked that Emile Poirier or Samuel Morin won’t be at camp. And in the west, it was no different, as fans debated the roster.
Here are my top five omissions from the WHL:
Eric Comrie, G, Tri City Americans
In my opinion, Comrie is the top goalie in the WHL. Once again, he is having a strong season for the Americans and sits near the top of the league in goals-against-average and save percentage. Add to that, when you stack up his numbers against the selected goalies, it’s puzzling as to how he was left off the list.
Shea Theodore, D, Seattle Thunderbirds
On the big ice, you need to have guys who can skate and Theodore can do that as well as any defenceman in junior hockey. He is having a solid season on the backend for the Thunderbirds, and is averaging more than a point a game. His skill set could have definitely come in handy on the power play.
Greg Chase, C, Calgary Hitmen
Calgary’s go to guy on offence has been a little streaky, but right Greg Chase is playing well. In his one game against Russia, he scored two goals and played physical for the full 60 minutes. His blend of character and skill would have looked good on Canada’s fourth line.
Brendan Leipsic, C, Portland Winterhawks
One of my favourite players in the WHL, Leipsic never seems to take a shift off. I have no worries about him being able to play against larger players, because he has dominated larger players in the WHL for the past year and a half. Leaving this kind of a Brad Marchand-type of player at home could prove costly to Canada.
Madison Bowey, D, Kelowna Rockets
Bowey might be one of the best pure athletes in all of junior hockey. I believe his skating and physical play on the big ice could have been huge for Canada. Add to that, Canada is lacking in the right-handed shot category and he should have been invited.