Enjoying the camp life: All Three Jets set to play in WJCs

Andrew Halipchuk
December 20 2014 02:03AM

Last night, after a 2-1 overtime pre-tournament loss to their longtime rivals Russia, Canada announced the 22 players that will represent their country in the 2015 World Junior Championships in less than a week’s time.

Of the 31 players invited to camp, Winnipeg had the most prospects attending camp with three, all of which survived the cuts in camp and have be selected to play for Canada in this year’s tournament.

Both Josh Morrissey and Nic Petan were members of last year’s team that finished without a medal for the second year in a row, they without a doubt will be looking to redeem themselves and their country in less than a week’s time.

It was announced on TSN that Morrissey who was recently dealt to Kelowna Rockets had been pairing up with Winnipeg-native Madison Bowey in camp and during the first pre-tournament game and is expected to remain as Canada’s top pairing heading into their first game against Slovakia on December 26.

The Calgary-native is the lone defenceman returning from last year’s team which gave up 20 goals in 7 games, which lead to a disappointing fourth-place finish for a second straight year for Canada.

Morrissey in my opinion should be Canada’s captain this year due to his leadership qualities he showed as the captain of his former team, the Prince Albert Raiders, who he captained for the part of two seasons.

Canada has shown that they are willing to name returning players as captains over the star player on the roster and Morrissey should be know difference. His experience in last year’s tournament will prove extremely useful for a country looking for their first gold medal since 2009.

Petan, like Morrissey will looked to as a leader on this year’s team due to the fact that he has played in this tournament before and was arguably one of Canada’s best forwards last year.

As of right now, Petan is on a line with centre Nick Paul of the North Bay Battalion and 6’4 draft eligible winger Lawson Crouse from the Kingston Frontenacs. But it has been said that he may get some playing time with top draft prospect, Connor McDavid and Curtis Lazar in the next pre-tournament game.

The Winterhawks forward had four goals and an assist in his first tournament for Canada last year in Malmo, Sweden.

Petan and Morrissey join five other returnees from last year’s roster including McDavid, Lazar netminder Zach Fucale, and forwards Sam Reinhart and Frederik Gauthier.

Unlike Petan and Morrissey, Eric Comrie will be representing his country at the World Junior Championships for the first time this year and even has a chance to be Canada’s number one netminder when the tournament starts on Boxing Day.

Although he comes into the tournament with no experience, Comrie’s numbers have been much better than Fucale’s this season. But numbers don’t mean anything at this point. In his first pre-tournament start Fucale allowed a pair of goals on 20 shots, while Comrie is expected to start one of Canada’s remaining pre-tournament games.

Even if Comrie doesn’t start Canada’s first game of the tournament, it is almost a given he will start the following one. Playing both netminders in the round robin has become a staple to Canada’s game plan over the past few tournaments.

Canada kicks off their tournament Dec. 26 against Slovakia and plays its next game the following day against Germany.

With all three Jets making Team Canada out of camp are you surprised? Are there any other players you believed should have also made the team? If so who? Did all three deserve to make the team? Let us know in the comment section below.

Andrew is a recent graduate of SAIT Polytechnic's journalism program, where he worked as the sports writer for SAIT's school newspaper, The Weal. He blogs frequently on his own website andrewhalipchuk.com, but will keep up with his new position with the Nation Network. Follow him on Twitter @Mr_Moose_44.
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