Canada Cuts Four From World Junior Roster

The first cut from Hockey Canada’s World Junior Selection Camp came down on Sunday, with 2016 draft eligibles Pierre-Luc Dubois and Jakob Chychrun, as well as Isles draft pick Michael Dal Colle, and Kings prospect Spencer Watson getting cut following Canada’s 5-0 win over the CIS Stars, according to TSN’s Mark Masters.

Dubois isn’t an entirely surprising cut, despite grabbing a goal in Sunday’s win.

As Larry Fisher mentioned in a projection of the Canadian roster for the 2016 World Junior Championship, Dubois was a surprising invite from the start. He most likely projects to be a piece of the Canadian team next year and the inclusion for selection camp this year may have been about getting him some experience and Hockey Canada continuing to get a sense of what kind of player he is.

Dubois is projected to be a high first round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry draft. He’s put up 20 goals and 47 points through 33 games this season for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL.

Canada also cut 2014 5th overall draft pick Dal Colle from the roster on Sunday. He was a part of camp last year as well and was cut at that time as well.

All-in-all, when his junior career ends, he’ll have been in three of the Canada-Russia Super Series games, and invited to two summer and winter selection camps for Team Canada, but will have never played for Team Canada at the World Junior Championship.

After a couple seasons of being closer to two points per game than one for the Oshawa Generals in the OHL, Dal Colle has just seven goals and 23 points through 27 games as the captain of the Generals this season. It’s been a disappointing start for such a high draft pick.

It’s his final year of eligibility for the WJC and with how close he was to making the team last year, it has to be pretty disappointing to be off the team this year again.

Watson has 17 goals and 32 points in 30 games for the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL this season. His OHL numbers certainly didn’t make him a lock for the team.

He had a strong showing the in Subway Super Series putting up three goals in just two games against Russia, but didn’t produce at a high level in camp. Some counted his familiarity with roster lock Lawson Crouse to his advantage, but the late-blooming, under-sized forward wasn’t able to secure a spot.

Though with Virtanen presumed to be coming to camp on loan, it starts to crowd Watson out with additional depth on right wing coming in.

Those three cuts give Canada 14 forwards remaining at camp, with 13 available spots. That leaves out the possibility of late camp additions coming in from the NHL.

Blue Line Cuts

Jakob Chychrun, one of the top prospects for the 2016 draft, was the youngest defenseman at camp, but was considered to have a legitimate chance at making the roster. In current draft projections he’s ranked anywhere from second to fifth overall.

As a 17-year-old alternate captain for the Sarnia Sting, Chychrun has put up five goals and 17 assists through 28 games this season. He ranks ninth among OHL defensemen in points.

Chychrun was the only defenseman cut by Team Canada on Sunday.

Montembeault Gets a Start

The team gave late-addition goaltender Samuel Montembeault of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada the start. He posted a shutout in a game many didn’t predict he’d be a part of.

Coach Dave Lowry said of the decision to start Montembeault, “We played him today bc we want to continue to evaluate our goalies. We’re starting with two guys. One can’t play.”

That statement appears to voice a little frustration with Mackenzie Blackwood’s situation. Montembeault wasn’t an initial invite to camp, with the team rolling out with just two goaltenders. But an eight-game suspension to Blackwood in an OHL game made it so that Team Canada will be without Blackwood for the first two games of the tournament.

Sunday’s cuts bring Team Canada a little closer to their tournament roster with 13 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders left at camp. NHL decisions are looming on whether Jake Virtanen (potentially), Jared McCann (probably not) and Robby Fabbri (almost certainly not) will be loaned for the tournament.

If Virtanen gets the green light to join the team for the remainder of camp in Europe, then Canada will need to cut two forwards and two defensemen before the start of the tournament on December 26.

The Vancouver Canucks will loan forward Jake Virtanen to Canada, the team announced on Sunday evening.

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