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Craig Button

TSN Director of Scouting

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Make it a high five.

After Saturday night’s 7-5 win over Canada in the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Mich., the United States has now beaten Canada five straight times in World Junior-level games. This marks an unprecedented streak of dominance for USA Hockey over their rivals from north of the 49th parallel.

Canada’s last victory over the United States was a 5-3 preliminary round win in the 2015 edition of the World Junior Hockey Championship in Montreal.
 

Recent Dominance: Team USA's Last Five Wins Over Canada

DATE TOURNAMENT ROUND SCORE
 Dec. 26, 2015 World Junior Hockey Championship  Preliminary  4-2 
Aug. 6, 2016  World Junior Summer Showcase  5-1 
Dec. 31, 2016  World Junior Hockey Championship  Preliminary  3-1 
Jan. 5, 2017  World Junior Hockey Championship  Final  5-4 (SO)
Aug. 5, 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase  7-5 

*NOTE - Not included are a pair of split-squad games - one won by the US and the other by Canada - early on in the 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase*

With a seeming inability to get the better of the hosts and defending champions at this December’s tournament in Buffalo (where Canada will meet the United States in the preliminary round on December 29 outdoors at New Era Field), head coach Dominique Ducharme and the rest of the Hockey Canada brain trust must look to assemble a squad that can get past not only the United States, but the rest of the field.

Bear in mind that the following team projections are made with the understanding that neither forward Nolan Patrick – the second overall pick in June’s 2017 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers – nor forward Tyson Jost – the 10th overall selection by the Colorado Avalanche – will be made available by his respective NHL club.

That being said, it is worth considering the possibility that Patrick, who missed last season’s tournament and whose season with the Brandon Wheat Kings was limited to just 33 games due to injury, might be loaned to Canada for his World Juniors bow.

Without further ado, the projected Team Canada roster for the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championship:

GOALIES

Michael DiPietro, Windsor (OHL) 
HT: 6-0 WT: 193 C: L NHL Draft: Van 2017
Memorial Cup winner could do for Canada what undefeated Tyler Parsons did for USA in 2017.

Carter Hart, Everett (WHL)
HT: 6-2 WT: 180 C: L NHL Draft: Phi 2016
Lost 2017 gold-medal game to USA and allowed 4 goals on 14 shots in Showcase final.

LEFT DEFENCEMAN

Jake Bean, Calgary (WHL) 
HT: 6-1 WT: 169 S: L NHL Draft: Car 2016
Needs to perform at higher level than he did in 2017 tournament for Canada.

Samuel Girard, Shawinigan (QMJHL)
HT: 5-9 WT: 166 S: L NHL Draft: Nsh 2016
Brilliant offensive blueliner has 149 points in last 126 Quebec League games.

Kale Clague, Brandon (WHL)
HT: 6-0 WT: 177 S: L NHL Draft: LA 2016
2017 No. 7 filled in admirably for injured Philippe Myers.

Josh Mahura, Regina (WHL)
HT: 6-0 WT: 179 S: L NHL Draft: Ana 2016
Looked great playing alongside Dante Fabbro vs. Finland in Showcase.

RIGHT DEFENCEMEN

Cale Makar, UMass-Amherst (NCAA)
HT: 5-10 WT: 175 S: R NHL Draft: Col 2017
Regarded as the most exciting Canadian offensive defenceman prospect since Drew Doughty.

Dante Fabbro, Boston University (NCAA)
HT: 6-1 WT: 192 S: R NHL Draft: Nsh 2016
Solidified his reputation as an ultra-solid, all-purpose defenceman in 2017 tournament.

Cal Foote, Kelowna (WHL)
HT: 6-4 WT: 210 S: R NHL Draft: Tam 2017
The thinking man’s defenceman, the Colorado native chose to play for Canada over USA.

LEFT WINGERS

Pierre-Luc Dubois, Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL)
HT: 6-3 WT: 202 S: L NHL Draft: Clb 2016
2017 returnee better-suited to wing than centre where he played at Showcase.

Dillon Dube, Kelowna (WHL)
HT: 5-11 WT: 186 S: L NHL Draft: Cgy 2016
Speed merchant and catalytic converter was plus-6, second best for Canada in 2017.

Michael Rasmussen, Tri-City (WHL)
HT: 6-5 WT: 221 S: L NHL Draft: Det 2017
Huge net-front presence (6-foot-5 1/2, 221 pounds) could be power play force.

Givani Smith, Guelph (OHL)
HT: 6-2 WT: 209 S: L NHL Draft: Det 2016
Hard winger is no fun to play against; he collected 139 penalty minutes in the OHL last season.

CENTRES

Sam Steel, Regina (WHL)
HT: 6-2 WT: 209 S: L NHL Draft: Ana 2016
2016-17 WHL scoring leader and Man of Steel shone at the Showcase. 

Brett Howden, Moose Jaw (WHL)
HT: 6-3 WT: 191 S: L NHL Draft: Tam 2016
All-around cerebral centre competes and contributes at high level.

Michael McLeod, Mississauga (OHL)
HT: 6-3 WT: 202 S: L NHL Draft: NJ 2016
Returning centre will play up the lineup after filling role of 13th forward in 2017.

Cody Glass, Portland (WHL)
HT: 6-2 WT: 179 S: R NHL Draft: VGK 2017
Can Vegas’ first-ever draft pick be Knight in shining armour for Canada?

RIGHT WINGERS

Jordan Kyrou, Sarnia (OHL)
HT: 6-0 WT: 177 S: R NHL Draft: StL 2016
Swift-skating finesse player was definitively Canada's best player in Showcase.

Taylor Raddysh, Erie (OHL)
HT: 6-2 WT: 209 S: R NHL Draft: Tam 2016
Averaged 1.75 points per game with 140 in combined 80 regular season and playoff games.

Gabe Vilardi, Windsor (OHL)
HT: 6-2 WT: 193 S: R NHL Draft: Los 2017
Memorial Cup all-star is a puck possession monster drawing comparisons to Jaromir Jagr.

Robert Thomas, London (OHL)
HT: 6-0 WT: 192 S: R NHL Draft: Stl 2017The playmaker extraordinaire could end up at centre in World Junior tournament.

Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound (OHL)
HT: 5-11 WT: 183 S: R NHL Draft: VGK 2017
OHL Scholastic Player of the Year finalist plays brainy, purposeful game.

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PROJECTED 2018 TEAM CANADA WORLD JUNIOR HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP ROSTER

G LD RD
Michael DiPietro Jake Bean< Cale Makar
Carter Hart< Samuel Girard Dante Fabbro<
  Kale Clague< Cal Foote
  Josh Mahura  
LW C RW
Pierre-Luc Dubois< Sam Steel Jordan Kyrou
Dillon Dube< Brett Howden Taylor Raddysh<
Michael Rasmussen Michael McLeod< Gabe Vilardi
Givani Smith Cody Glass Robert Thomas
    Nick Suzuki

< - denotes returning player