Over the past two seasons, the Ottawa 67’s have seen success they haven’t seen for quite some time. That success has now translated into them playing a big part in the Canadian World Junior team.
You will look up and down the roster and only find one player from the 67’s on the roster, but it goes far beyond that.
Jack Quinn is the only member of the 67’s who will actually be playing the games, and the fact that he is on the team is very impressive when you consider where he was just two years ago. In the 2018-19 season, Quinn scored 12 goals and had 20 assists. He was playing a depth role on the 67’s, and now, he’s one of the best players on the team and representing Canada at the biggest junior hockey tournament in the world.
Quinn’s growth has been nothing short of exceptional. He has always been a very smart hockey player, and that made him serviceable in the OHL for his first full season, but he has grown in leaps and bounds since then.
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When you look at Quinn, you might see a player who scored 52 goals last year and think his offence is the best part of his game, but you can make the case that his play off the puck is just as good. Quinn can be used on the power play, the penalty kill, and any other key moment in the game. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time and makes the smart play the majority of the time.
“I think I can be a big offensive player for this team,” said Quinn. “Wherever I play in the lineup I want to be able to drive the bus on my line and make plays and be a goal scorer.”
That looks like something Quinn should be able to accomplish. So far, he has been practicing on the first line with Kirby Dach and Dylan Cozens. Maybe it helps that André Tourigny is his coach both in Ottawa and on Team Canada, but he has earned a massive role, and he should be up to the challenge.
Since Brian Kilrea retired in 2009, the 67’s have been looking for a coach to fill the large shoes left by the best coach in the history of junior hockey. After Chris Byrne and Jeff Brown couldn’t cut it, the 67’s hired André Tourigny.
In the three years Tourigny has been the head coach of the 67’s, the team has a record of 130-52-11-5. In the last two seasons alone, the 67’s have gone 100-23-4-3. The record is impressive and it has earned him the chance to coach the Canadians at the World Juniors.
If you think you have seen Tourigny behind the Team Canada bench before, you would be right. Remember that impressive catch from a coach that saved the Canadians from a delay of game penalty against the Americans last year? Yup. That was Tourigny.
While you likely won’t see Tourigny on the top of the bench yelling and screaming all that often, you can expect him to get the most out of his players. If you are on the team, you play an important role. He isn’t afraid to roll with the hot hand, and he expects you to bring it every night.
Early in the camp, Tourigny sent Dach and Cozens off the ice for getting on the ice at 11:30 for a practice scheduled to begin at 11:30. Tough love to be certain, but a teaching moment for Tourigny.
“The reality is Dylan and Kirby had treatment with our therapist, but I was not aware, so they arrived tight (to the start time),” said Tourigny. “We’ve explained to the guys that practice starts on time and if you’re not there, you’re late.” (from ‘Tough love as veterans held out of Team Canada practice,’ Sault This Week, 11/20/2020)
That is the kind of coach that Tourigny is. He is demanding and expects excellence, but at the end of the day, it brings out the best in players. It’s hard to argue with the work of a coach who has won 100 games in the past two years.
The least known name of the 67’s representatives is none other than long-serving equipment manager, Chris Hamilton. He joined the 67’s in 2009 when he became the assistant equipment manager. Since then, he has been promoted to head equipment manager in 2013 and has served in the role ever since.
This isn’t Hamilton’s first rodeo with Team Canada, but it is his first time with the U20 World Junior team. He was part of the Hockey Canada team during the 2013 U18 World Championships in Sochi, Russia where Canada won the gold medal. He was also part of the 2014 & 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup U18 Tournament where Canada won the gold medal and had a fifth-place finish respectively.
You don’t normally think about how important an equipment manager is until someone can’t be on the ice due to an equipment issue. Hamilton is very good at what he does.
Getting Things Right
The 67’s are a franchise with a great history. It seemed for a while they were losing control of a sinking ship, but over the past three years, they have managed to regain control. Everyone mentioned above has played a role in it, but it’s not just them.
James Boyd was supposed to be working with the U17 program this year, but that tournament has been cancelled due to COVID-19. You could have also made the argument for Graeme Clarke making the team.
The bottom line is that the 67’s are starting to get things right again, and it is translating to success with the Canadian national team.
All the 2021 World Junior Championship Team Information:
Austria — Team Preview — Roster
Canada — Team Preview — Roster
Czech Republic — Team Preview — Roster
Finland — Team Preview — Roster
Germany — Team Preview — Roster
Russia — Team Preview — Roster
Slovakia — Team Preview — Roster
Sweden — Team Preview — Roster
Switzerland — Team Preview — Roster
USA — Team Preview — Roster
Selection Camp Invites by NHL Team
Draft Eligible Players to Watch
One Player to Watch for Each World Junior Team
7 Predictions for the 2021 World Junior Championship