Hockey Canada and the CHL announced their roster today. Here's what it looks like:
Mark Visentin, Niagara (OHL)
Olivier Roy, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
Jared Cowen, Spokane (WHL)
Simon Després, Saint John (QMJHL)
Dylan Olsen, Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA)
Erik Gudbranson, Kingston (OHL)
Ryan Ellis, Windsor (OHL)
Tyson Barrie, Kelowna (WHL)
Calvin de Haan, Oshawa (OHL)
Sean Couturier, Drummondville (QMJHL)
Jaden Schwartz, Colorado College (NCAA)
Zack Kassian, Windsor (OHL)
Brayden Schenn, Brandon (WHL)
Casey Cizikas, Mississauga St. Michael's (OHL)
Quinton Howden, Moose Jaw (WHL)
Curtis Hamilton, Saskatoon (WHL)
Marcus Foligno, Sudbury (OHL)
Ryan Johansen, Portland (WHL)
Louis Leblanc, Montreal (QMJHL)
Cody Eakin, Swift Current (WHL)
Carter Ashton, Tri-City (WHL)
Brett Connolly, Prince George (WHL)
So congratulations to Jaden Schwartz and Dylan Olsen for making the team. Riley Sheahan and Reilly Smith getting cut clearly shows an obvious bias against NCAA players and shows the types of politics that Hockey Canada plays. There's no possible way that just because they happen to play in my country, they weren't good enough to be selected.
On a more serious note, as always, it's a very talented Canada team, with 15 first round NHL picks, and five players selected in the top 10 of the draft. And you can bump each of those numbers up by one if you count Sean Couturier, who is likely a top 5 pick this summer.
It's also a pretty big team with defensemen like Gudbranson, Olsen, Cowen, and Despres, and forwards like Kassian, Hamilton, and Ashton.
Scoring is one area of concern people in Canada seem to have about this team. Brayden Schenn who was returned by the Los Angeles Kings just before the camp is expected to be a scoring leader; this year's Jordan Eberle, if you will. Jaden Schwartz has had a tremendous season and got everyone pretty excited in camp, so he'll probably put up a lot of scoring too.
I don't know much about the goaltending. I didn't think about it at the time it the first roster was announced, but I'm a little surprised Denver's Sam Brittain wasn't asked to try out. Plymouth goalie Scott Wedgewood would have legitimately scared me too. With Visentin and Roy, I think the US is fine as long as one of them doesn't suddenly play out of their mind in the tournament.
Overall, this is still going to be a very tough team to beat, but one that isn't necessarily impossible to beat. If this team runs into the US in the medal round, it should be another fantastic game.