2014 Team Canada Hlinka Camp Roster Predictions

Hlinka Camp

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Below is a quick look at how Team Canada’s 2014 Hlinka Camp roster may breakdown based on our weekend of viewing three Red vs White games. The selection process obviously also includes the players resumes entering into the weekend.

GOALIES

Julio Billia
Mason McDonald or Brent Moran

Billia will be the starter and should play every game barring injury. The other three goalies were far behind him and all struggled at various points of the weekend. We would take McDonald in a very tight race over Moran.

DEFENSE

Aaron Ekblad
Haydn Fleury
Brycen Martin
Roland McKeown
Jacob Middleton
Carl Neill

Ryan Pilon or Dysin Mayo

We see the top six as easy choices. The 7th Dman will be a more difficult selection. We see it coming down to Pilon or Mayo.

FORWARDS

8 Forwards we expect to be “locks” as far as Hockey Canada is concerned
Sam Bennett
Michael Dal Colle
Jared McCann
Brendan Perlini
Jake Virtanen
Spencer Watson
Brendan Lemieux
Daniel Audette

3 more players we would select after great games this weekend

Reid Duke
Jayce Hawryluk
Ryan Gropp

If we are correct about the forwards listed above, 2 spots would remain. We list 5 players below who could be in the mix.

Brayden Point, Conner Bleackley, Robby Fabbri, Julien Nantel and Nicolas Aube-Kubel

The forwards are the most difficult to predict. We are guessing that Audette and Lemieux are locked in with another 6 forwards. We listed the next three we liked as well. Some good forwards will be cuts.

If you follow us regularly you will know that we have been big fans of Jared McCann but he didn’t have a good weekend. We spoke to several NHL scouts who agreed that he needs to be better than he showed in these 3 games. Regardless of McCann’s poor showing, he makes the team based on his previous resume. We loved Gropp, Nantel and Duke. Bleakley had a strong first day, as did Fabbri. One of the biggest surprises of the weekend was Alex Pepin. He came into camp at 238 pounds and in our opinion didn’t show much in the three games. He may be a camp casualty. Eric Cornel had flashes but it may not be enough in this competitive camp.

One interesting tidbit in camp was the on-going battle between Jake Virtanen and Aaron Ekblad. Virtanen seemed motivated to hit Ekblad any chance he could. He was successful a few times with big hits, including a cheap shot. If we were Hockey Canada we would make them roomies, as they are both locks to make the team.

We wish all the weekends participants good luck this season.