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WJC PREVIEW: The Candidates

Flyers prospects who are looking to capture gold at this year's World Junior Championships

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

The 2019-20 World Junior Championships will take place from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in the northeastern portion of the Czech Republic (Ostrava and Trinec). Participants must be no older than 19 years of age as of Dec. 31, 2019. 

Due to International Ice Hockey Federation age-eligibility rules, 2018-19 WJC participants Jay O'Brien (USA), Noah Cates (USA), Samuel Ersson (SWE), NHL rookie center Morgan Frost (Canada) and AHL rookie winger Maksim Sushko (Belarus) have all aged out of eligibility.

How many Flyers prospects will take part this year?

On Monday, USA Hockey will announce its selection camp roster for the Team USA roster. Other national teams, including Team Canada, have already named their preliminary rosters to be pared down to the final group each will take to the tournament. 

Here's a look at where age-eligible Flyers candidates stand:

Joel Farabee (W, USA): It will be up to the Flyers to decide whether to make the 19-year-old Farabee available to USA Hockey. Given that Farabee is now a regular starter in the NHL, it seems unlikely that he will make a return trip to the World Juniors. If he does, Farabee's addition would be a huge boost to the Americans' roster and he would play a vital role atop the lineup. The New Jersey Devils recently announced that rookie center Jack Hughes, Farabee's former center on the Under-18 National Team, would not be made available for the tourney.

Cam York (D, USA): The No. 1 defenseman on the USNTDP's storied Under-18 squad last year, York had an excellent World Junior Summer Showcase tourney. His collegiate freshman year at the University of Michigan has been interrupted by a pair of injuries that kept him out of a total of four games. When he's been in the lineup, York has impressed. The smallish but extremely mobile blueliner has posted four goals and nine points (including a pair of wraparound goals) through his first 14 regular season games on an often goal-starved Wolverines team. Additionally, York scored two goals in his team's lone preseason exhibition. Apart from his speed and skill with the puck, York has a quick defensive stick and above-average positional smarts. 

Bobby Brink (W, USA): The Denver freshman joined Farabee and York on the Team USA squad at the World Junior Summer Showcase before beginning his collegiate career. The small but shifty and creative forward started out the college season in a good offensive groove, then hit a dry spell for several weeks. More recently, he's started to heat up again including a recent two-goal, three point outburst against Western Michigan. To date, Brink has six goals and 11 points in 16 games. His chances of making Team USA increase if Farabee is unavailable.

Adam Ginning (D, Sweden): A regular starter at the SHL level for Linköpings HC over the previous season-and-a-half, the 19-year-old defenseman had a rough start to this season and was loaned to Alllsvenskan (minor league) team Vita Hästen HC to get more playing time. Although the pro season has not gone his way to date, Ginning has been a regular on the Swedish national junior team for multiple years and played in the World Juniors last year. 

Egor Zamula (D, Russia): Zamula is on Russia's preliminary roster. His stock has risen considerably over the last season-plus. Selected to play for Team Russia during the WHL portion of the annual CHL-Russia series, Zamula has enjoyed an outstanding all-around season to date for the Calgary Hitmen. Through his first 23 games of the Western League season, Zamula posted 25 points (6g, 19a) and compiled a +22 rating at even strength. 

Egor Serdyuk (W, Russia): A hip injury has severely affected Serdyuk's QMJHL season and removed the 18-year-old from any realistic shot at contending for a World Junior Championships spot this year. He started out the season on an offensive tear before being sidelined. Upon his return, he struggled for several weeks before exiting the lineup again. While he won't go this year, Serdyuk could be a candidate for next year's Team Russia squad.

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