2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey: Team Canada Spotlightby Dom Lunardo August 5, 2022 0 comments
After the spread of COVID-19 temporarily halted the 2022 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship back in December, the tournament is set to resume in five days. As hosts, the Canadian National Junior Team is looking to put on a show in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. As always, they will also be looking to claim a Gold Medal. This particular article will profile three players slated to play major roles for Team Canada at this tournament. Let us meet the cast, shall we?
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Mason McTavish, Center, Age 19
Mason McTavish gets the ball rolling as one of Canada’s most important players at the World Juniors. Fresh off a Memorial Cup appearance with his junior club, the Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), McTavish will be leaned upon to provide offense, experience, and leadership for his country. In addition, he will also be donning the famous “C” as team captain. No pressure at all, Mason.
Born in Zurich, Switzerland, McTavish is a gifted offensive scorer. In addition, he is a superb skater, strong on the puck, a creative passer, and uses his 6-foot-0, 213-pound frame to good effect. After being drafted third-overall at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft by the Anaheim Ducks, McTavish opened last season by skating in nine games in Orange County. He was later returned to his junior club, the Peterborough Petes of the OHL, before being dealt to Hamilton. All in all, McTavish tallied 20 goals and 27 assists in just 29 games with both the Petes and Bulldogs. It goes without question that he absolutely dazzled “The O”, which should be music to the ears of Canadian Junior hockey fans. Following McTavish and the boys in red and white will be an absolute treat during their quest to capture Gold on home ice. Less than a week away, folks!
Sebastian Cossa, Goaltender, Age 19
Next up on our list is Detroit Red Wings goaltending prospect Sebastian Cossa. Standing at a whopping 6-foot-6, 209 pounds, this is a player whose physical appearance alone screams “NHL ready.” Drafted by the Red Wings in the first round, 15th overall last summer, Cossa enters the World Juniors as the bonafide starting goaltender for Team Canada. Between the pipes, he is big, crafty, possesses excellent rebound control, and is as sound as they come in between the whistles. Cossa has just about everyone talking in the Wings organization, and for good reason. He will undoubtedly be one to watch out for the Canadians as the tournament progresses.
This past season with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League (WHL) was one to remember for the Hamilton, Ontario, native. Through 46 games, Cossa posted an astounding 33-9-3 record with six shutouts. In addition, he also manned a 2.28 goals-against-average (GAA) and .913 save percentage. In the WHL playoffs, Cossa sparkled, even more, tallying a 16-3 record in 19 games. His goals-against-average also improved to 1.93 with a .919 save percentage. It is very likely that this tournament is Cossa’s “coming out” party to the hockey world.
Carson Lambos, Defenseman, Age 19
Rounding out our list is Winnipeg, Manitoba native Carson Lambos. Man, oh man, do the Canadians ever have themselves a top-tier talent with this kid. As a player, Lambos can be described as a double-edged sword (in a good way) on the blue line. He is excellent in his own end of the ice and super confident with the puck going forward. Lambos’ puck distribution skills are top-notch, and his numerous head fakes and ability to create space for himself and others further add to his deep and extensive tool kit.
After being drafted in the first round, 26th overall during last summer’s NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota Wild, Lambos will be leaned on to provide experience, poise, puck-moving ability, and defensive acumen for Canada at the World Juniors. Fans of the Wild must be absolutely salivating at this kids’ upside. He really is the real deal and should slot in as one of Team Canada’s most important players at this tournament. What is that saying by Andy Williams, hockey fans? “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
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