Well another Christmas Season is upon, it means Santa is loading up is sleigh and bringing Gold Silver & Bronze to Buffalo New York for the 2011 World Junior Championships, Team USA is going to defend the Gold Medal on home ice, after a heart breaking loss in the gold medal game last year the Canadian boys will be lookng for redemption, they will have to do it with out Jordan Eberle and of course Taylor Hall, who have both graduated to the National Hockey League, but do not fear Canada we do have some very solid players that are on the squad this year and practising in Toronto before there first test on Monday.
I would like to show case my top five players on Team Canada this year
#1- Olivier Roy standing at 5 foot 11 and 186 lbs Roy, is Canadas best chance at a Gold Medal this year, coming to Team Canada from the Q, Roy is not just another kid trying to make the squad of Red & White he is here for business and for Gold. We all know all too well how many times a Junior game goes to a shoot out and Roy is the man in the QMJHL who has not aloud a single shoot out goal. I know this is an international tourney but Roy is the back stopper who I beleive will take Canada and make them golden
#2- Team Canada would be complete without a mention of Ryan Ellis, the best defencemen in the tourney I beleive, Ellis is a member of the Silver Medal winning team that played last year, he is also Team Canadas best D man in the tournament with stats like 15 points in 12 games played how could you not put this guy on your blue line, he is the number one who wil add to the force that is Olivier Roy, call them the Dynamic Duo. Ellis is a draft pick of the Nashville Predators but has spent this season in the OHL with the Windsor Spitfires, we all know that Windsor has a great system that develops fantastic talent watch Ellis rip up the ice in Buffalo this year.
#3- Quniton Howden hailing from Oak bank Manitoba is going to become a super star for Team Canada this year. Howden was drafted by the Florida Panthers in the 2010 entry draft but is played in the WHL, as a Warrior, Howden is a great two way player he has strong ability to handle the puck and make plays, and he is the fastest man on the ice for Team Canada (unofficial), and possible in the whole tourney, this guy still has some aspects of his defencesive game to work on but for the job that he is going to be playing in Buffalo he is a key player for a Gold Medal
#4- Brayden Schenn from the Brandon Wheat Kings was a top pick for the Los Angeles King in 2009, and played for the Kings in the early part of the 2010/11 season before being dropped back to the WHL, not that Brayden is not a good hockey player but he is a young player and the Kings are not hurting him by putting him back they are helping him mature as a player and will be alot better because of it, and will some day very soon be skating in the NHL just like big brother Luke (Toronto). But when it comes to the World Juniors Brayden is a vetern and playing at an international tourney like the the Juniors only helps Schenn in all aspects of the game. As one of the better forwards in the game Schenn, will be called on during key times of the game including the PP & PK. Schenn wil be a top goal scorer in this tourney for sure
#5- Cody Eakin rounds out my top five players at the IIHF Juniors, playing for Swift Current of the WHL Eakin, is a great forward with a bright furture in the NHL after being drafted by the Capitlas in '09 but any team that has Ov, is hard to crack, Eakins will make it some day soon. Eakin who hails from the hockey hot bed of Winnipeg Manitoba will do Canada proud with a great two way game, he can score set up plays and may even see time on the the PK, but may not be strong to crack the PP line. Either way Cody will be a great addition to Team Canada.
Watch for these five players and the rest of Team Canada as they head for Buffalo New York and go for gold GO CANADA GO