Mooseheads Stars Await the Call
Today will be day for some of the Halifax Mooseheads. Hockey Canada will announce the roster for its World Junior selection camp. Unfortunately, the NHL lockout will undoubtedly squeeze out some great junior talent.
Nathan MacKinnon was a fairly safe bet to make the team this year after he generated consideration last year, despite not being invited. MacKinnon is still pretty certain to be invited to the selection camp, but with potential NHL-ready talent like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM), Jonathan Huberdeau (FLA), Ryan Strome (NYI), Mark Scheifele (WIN), and more available, the forward corps is getting pretty filled already.
TSN had preliminary roster speculation that featured MacKinnon as the 13th forward, while TSN Insider Bob McKenzie says he could challenge for a top six spot by shifting to RW. However unlikely, with stiff competition there is the slight possibility that if there is no scoring line spot available, MacKinnon gets left out in place of more experienced role players for the third and fourth line.
This is more of reality for his Moosehead teammate Jonathan Drouin, who has been climbing up the draft rankings all season and with his stellar first half has made some start wondering how close he is to MacKinnon. Hockey Canada always gives the advantage to older players that have typically been drafted, but in any normal year Drouin would have at least have been in consideration for a spot. But sadly, it is unlikely he even gets a sniff this year. Maybe he’ll get an invite to camp, but even that might be a long shot as the team brass will only have limited time to assess what they have and will focus on more known commodities.
While it even rarer for underage goaltenders to get into the conversation for the annual Christmas tournament Zachary Fucale has also impressed enough that in a normal year he could have garnered some interest. That’s all it would ever be, is interest but still worth noting.
Good luck to Nate, and would certainly be great to see Drouin get a chance to showcase his skill at least. If by chance both are snubbed, I’d feel bad for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Last year, after not getting invited to the selection camp, Mathan MacKinnon posted 5 goals on the Quebec Rempart. Just sayin’!