The Arizona Coyotes loan a former third-round pick to Finland, Hockey Canada announces their selection camp roster for the 2021 World Junior Championships (WJC), and the Chicago Blackhawks loan their third-overall pick from the 2019 NHL Entry Draft to Team Canada for the WJC.
Coyotes Loan Jeník to Finland
The Coyotes have loaned Czech forward Jan Jeník to Imatran Ketterä of Mestis in Finland. Drafted 65th overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, he spent the 2019-20 season with the Hamilton Bulldogs in the Ontario Hockey League. He amassed a staggering 22 goals and 34 assists in 27 games before missing the rest of the season due to injury.
He had two goals and one assist in three games for the Czech Republic at the 2020 WJC before he suffered a knee injury that required surgery. This was Jeník’s second season in North America after coming over to the Bulldogs from the Czech Republic during the 2018-19 season.
The move to Europe will be a great opportunity for Jeník to develop his game while he awaits the start of the American Hockey League season in February. The Coyotes have already loaned top prospect, Barrett Hayton, to Sweden, so it’s no surprise they made the same decision for Jeník. The expectation is he’ll return to the Coyotes once training camps open for the 2020-21 NHL season.
Canada Announces World Juniors Selection Camp Roster
Hockey Canada announced their roster for the World Junior selection camp in Red Deer. Forty-six – five goaltenders, 15 defensemen and 26 forwards – of Canada’s top prospects from various leagues will be fighting for one of the 25 roster spots available for the 2021 WJC. Six players from the gold-medal winning team in 2020 will be returning: Quinton Byfield, Bowen Byram, Dylan Cozens, Jamie Drysdale, Connor McMichael and Dawson Mercer. A decision from the New York Rangers is still being made in regards to Alexis Lafreniere.
The selection camp will take from Nov. 16 to Dec. 13 with various practices, three intra-squad games and a six-game schedule against a U SPORTS All-Star team. In a press release by Hockey Canada, senior vice-president of national teams Scott Salmond had this to say about the roster selection:
Although this has been a difficult year for our athletes and staff, we are excited to unveil the 46 players who will compete for a spot on Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship. We know our athletes are excited for the opportunity to defend gold on home ice this year, and we expect a highly competitive selection camp with a number of difficult decisions to be made when it comes time to select the players who will wear the Maple Leaf in Edmonton in December.
While 45 players are either 2001-born or 2002-born, the most interesting addition to the roster is 2004-born forward Shane Wright who was granted exceptional status into the OHL and all eyes are on him for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. He’s coming off an exceptional 15-year-old season with the Kingston Frontenacs where he posted 39 goals and 27 assists in 58 games.
Blackhawks Loan Dach To Team Canada
Speaking of Team Canada, the Blackhawks have loaned forward Kirby Dach to the team for the 2021 WJC. Drafted third overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, he surprised everyone by sticking with the Blackhawks for the full 2019-20 season instead of returning to the Saskatoon Blades in the Western Hockey League. He had an impressive rookie season amassing eight goals and 15 assists in 64 games played. During the 2018-19 season with the Blades he amassed 25 goals and 48 assists in 62 games played.
Dach is a significant addition to Team Canada’s roster and brings a level of experience that few players on the team have. Given the the likelihood that 2020 first-overall pick Lafreniere will join the team as well, Canada could ice one of it’s best rosters we’ve seen in some time. Dach will be back playing for the Blackhawks during the 2020-21 NHL season, but with the start delayed until at least January, he should be able to finish the tournament before he heads to Chicago.