Team Canada Icing Strong Roster for 2022 Spengler Cup

The holiday season is upon us, which means the Spengler Cup is about to start. Canada will once again have a strong entry as they will look for their 17th title in the historic tournament, which can be traced back to 1923. This year’s edition will include IFK Helsinki, Örebro HK, HC Ambri-Piotta, HC Sparta Praha, and hosts HC Davos. Team Canada will also not be the only team with former NHLers on it, as Quinton Howden, Brandon McMillian, and Michal Kempný are all expected to play big roles for their teams.

Tyler Ennis Ottawa Senators
Tyler Ennis, Ottawa Senators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Team Canada’s roster is stacked and features mostly former and, in some cases, future NHL talent. Led by general manager Shane Doan, head coach Travis Green and a staff that includes Scott Niedermayer and Daniel Brière, here is what the team will look like when the tournament kicks off on Boxing Day in Switzerland.

Canada’s Goaltenders

Michael Hutchinson & Michael DiPietro (Connor Hughes is listed on the entry list but not main roster)

The two Michaels will look to lead Canada as Michael Hutchinson and Michael DiPietro will take charge in the crease. This will be Hutchinson’s first opportunity to play for Canada in an international tournament, while DiPietro has been previously selected to Team Canada at the U17, U18, U20, and World Championship levels. Both could be the starter, so do not be surprised if each gets at least one of the two preliminary games.

Related: Meet Your New Bruins: Michael DiPietro & Jonathan Myrenberg

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Another factor that may play into Canada’s decision is that Green coached DiPietro during his time in Vancouver. While the experience was not a success, it is not uncommon for coaches to go with the goaltender they know over the one they are just meeting. Who starts in the quarterfinals will most likely depend on the overall play but do not be surprised if part of the decision is based on familiarity.

Canada’s Defence

Thomas Gregoire, Josh Brook, Jérôme Leduc, Tobie Bisson, Nicolas Beaudin, Cody Goloubef, Kevin Connauton, Wyatt Kalynuk

Canada is bringing plenty of youth with them to this year’s tournament, as five of the eight players are 25 or under. They are also relatively inexperienced, with only Cody Goloubef and Nicolas Beaudin having played for the Men’s National Team at one point in their career. Regardless, there is plenty of depth in this group, with the majority of players being made up of American Hockey Leaguers (AHL).

Cody Goloubef
The Blue Jackets’ Cody Goloubef. Photo: Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers

A player to watch on the blue line will be Thomas Grégoire. The 24-year-old undrafted defenceman has been playing in Liiga for the past few seasons with Lukko. During his three-year career, he recorded 79 points in 113 games. He also helped his team win the Championship during the 2020-21 season, where he led all defencemen with three goals during the playoffs. So far this season, he has recorded 26 points in 32 games, but more importantly, understands how to be successful on the larger European ice surface. He has become a top player in the Liiga and should see time in all situations during the tournament.

Canada’s Forward Group

Jonathan Ang, Kris Bennett, Daniel Carr, Brett Connolly, David Desharnais, Philip-Michaël Devos, Chris DiDomenico, Cody Eakin, Cory Emmerton, Tyler Ennis, Riley Nash, Brendan Perlini, Alan Quine, Colton Sceviour, Daniel Winnik (Chris Tierney is listed on the entry list but not main roster)

Canada’s forward group is the complete opposite of their defence, with only Jonathan Ang being 25 or under. In total, 12 of the 15 players have played in the NHL, with seven of those logging at least 500 games. One of those players is Tyler Ennis, who is expected to be a leader for this team. The 33-year-old spent last season with the Ottawa Senators before moving over to the National League (NL) in Switzerland. He currently plays for SC Bern, where he plays alongside Team Canada teammates Chris DiDomenico, Colton Sceviour, and Goloubef.

Related: Former Jets and Moose Key to Canada’s Spengler Cup Victory

DiDomenico will always be one to watch as he has the most experience for Canada in this tournament. He has participated in the Spengler Cup five times prior, winning four of them. One more win and he will tie Daniel Vukovic and Maxim Noreau for the most all-time by a Canadian. As for his game so far this season, he leads SC Bern in goals, assists, and points and sits two points back of former NHLer Valtteri Filppula for the NL point lead. Known as a great playmaker, he should play a big part in Canada’s power play throughout the tournament.

An Exciting Tournament To Watch

While this tournament is short, it still produces some exciting games to watch. It is also a great opportunity to watch some old fan favourites competing for Canada on the world stage. The competition gets going on Dec. 26, when Canada takes on HC Sparta Praha starting at 2:15 pm EST.

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