Washington Capitals prospect Connor McMichael is one step closer to making Team Canada’s final World Junior Championship roster.
The center survived nine cuts made to the team Thursday by head coach Dale Hunter during Canada’s World Junior Selection Camp. Hunter, a former Capitals player and head coach, also serves as McMichael’s coach on the OHL’s London Knights.
Canada’s cuts included forwards Cole Perfetti, Dylan Holloway, Connor Zary, Alex Newhook, and Peyton Krebs; defensemen Braden Schneider, Peter Diliberatore and Thomas Harley; and goaltender Hunter Jones.
“It’s no fun,” Hunter said according to the Canadian Press. “It is tough. They’re kids and they all want to play, but [making cuts is] the hard part about the job.”
Canada’s roster size is now down 24. The team will need to release one more player, presumably a forward, before the tournament starts on December 26 in the Czech Republic.
Canada could also see additions of Chicago Blackhawks center Kirby Dach and the New York Islander defenseman Noah Dobson if they are released from their NHL rosters.
Team Canada's Forwards:
Nolan Foote #GoBolts
They will head to Europe with 14 players for now.
— World Juniors Lauren (@laurkelly24) December 13, 2019
Team 🇨🇦 cuts done for the night
Goalies set (Daws, Hofer, Rodrigue)
Down to 7 D (Addison, Bahl, Bernard-Docker, Byram, Drysdale, McIsaac, Smith) … but still awaiting final word on Dobson
14 forwards remain so at least one more cut to come & still holding out hope for Dach
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) December 13, 2019
Team Canada will fly to Vienna, Austria, this weekend to play two exhibition games against Switzerland and Finland before the WJC begins.
McMichael leads the OHL in points (59) and is second in the league in goals (25). McMichael has scored three hat tricks already this season and is averaging nearly a goal per game (25 in 27 games).
Headline photo: Rogers TV
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