2016 WJC Preview: Many questions to answer for defending champion Canada

By Glen Erickson

Mason McDonald - Team Canada

Photo: Charlottetown Islanders goaltender and Calgary Flames prospect Mason McDonald will get the call early in goal on at the 2016 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Todd Korol/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

 

 

Coaching Staff

Dave Lowry, who handles coaching duties for the Victoria Royals of the WHL, was behind the bench last season as an assistant and assumes head coaching duties this time around. Regarded as a tough player to play against during his NHL career, Lowry is a demanding presence.

Kelly McCrimmon of the Brandon Wheat Kings, Trevor Letowski of the Windsor Spitfires and Dominique Ducharme of the Halifax Mooseheads round out the coaching staff.

Questions for the coaches are many. Ultimately, what’s the plan for Team Canada? Does a roster of offensively skilled players get dumped into a system focused on strong defensive play? Can offensive push rule the day? Prolific offensive strategies can often be countered by effective and timely transition, which can really test an attacking team’s goaltending, an area that has already created a unique challenge. Can Lowry and crew find an effective way to manage risks and rewards? And how does the staff deal with the roster if the injury bug bites?

Stay tuned.

Regardless of game plans and strategies, it is a certainty that Canada will play in the tougher of the two pools at the WJC, which provides a fitting opportunity for the defending champions to use the preliminary round to build momentum toward capturing a second straight WJC gold medal.

Team Canada Roster – By League

QMJHL: 5
WHL: 7
OHL: 9
NHL: 1
NCAA: 1

By Province

British Columbia: 3
Alberta: 3
Saskatchewan: 2
Manitoba: 1
Ontario: 9
Quebec: 4
Nova Scotia: 1

Drafted/Signed – By NHL Team

Calgary Flames: 2
New Jersey Devils: 2
Florida Panthers: 2
Carolina Hurricanes: 2
Philadelphia Flyers: 2
Toronto Maple Leafs: 2
Arizona Coyotes: 2
New York Islanders: 2
Tampa Bay Lightning: 2
San Jose Sharks: 1
Vancouver Canucks: 1
Ottawa Senators: 1
Detroit Red Wings: 1
2016 Eligible: 1

Other Selection Camp Invitees (released)

Nick Merkley (ARI): Kelowna Rockets
Jayce Hawryluk (FLA): Brandon Wheat Kings
Noah Juulsen (MTL): Everett Silvertips
Jeremy Louzon (BOS): Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
Pierre-Luc Dubois (2016): Cape Breton Screaming Eagles
Michael Dal Colle (NYI), Oshawa Generals
Spencer Watson (LAK): Kingston Frontenacs
Jakob Chychrun (2016): Sarnia Sting
Vince Dunn (STL): Niagara Ice Dogs (Injured)
Jake Walman (STL): Providence College – NCAA (Injured)

Belarus | Canada | Czech Republic | Denmark | Finland | Russia | Slovakia | Sweden | Switzerland | USA

Follow Glen Erickson on Twitter via @glenerickson51

 

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