There were a couple of surprises when Hockey Canada announced its selection camp roster for the 2013-14 World Junior Championship Monday, but the inclusion of a couple Winnipeg Jets prospects wasn’t one of them. Defenceman Josh Morrissey and forward Nicolas Petan are very deserving of an invitation and should both play significant roles for Canada when the tournament gets under way on boxing day.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) December 2, 2013
The Jets selected Morrissey 13th overall at the NHL draft in June. The 18-year-old is in the midst of his third full season with the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders and it promises to be by far his best yet. Morrissey has tremendous offensive upside, not unlike Jacob Trouba. He can carry the puck up ice with ease, make accurate stretch passes and quarterback the power play. He currently leads all WHL defencemen with 13 goals and has 32 points in just 26 games. Look for Morrissey to be one of Canada’s top-four blueliners (perhaps paired with Matthew Dumba) and see big minutes on the power play.
Petan also plays in the WHL and was taken in the second-round, 43rd overall by the Jets this past June. He probably would have been drafted higher if not for his small frame. Petan, age 18, is 5’9″ and weighs 173 pounds. However, that didn’t stop him from finishing tied with his Portland Winterhawks teammate Brendan Leipsic, for the 2012-13 WHL scoring title with 120 points. Petan has elite speed, hands and vision which should give him an opportunity to play on Canada’s second line at the World Juniors.
As for the surprises, leaving forward Max Domi and defenceman Darnell Nurse off the roster has left many Canadians baffled. Domi was selected 12th overall by the Phoenix Coyotes at the 2013 NHL draft and has 25 points in 21 games this season with the London Knights. Nurse was taken ahead of Domi, going seventh overall to the Edmonton Oilers. He has 28 points in 26 games with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds this year.
Eric is a postgraduate public relations student at Humber College. Prior to that he obtained a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of Windsor. He covers the Winnipeg Jets for The Hockey Writers and is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report.