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Canada cuts five players from World Junior squad

by Mike G. Morreale

Canadian National Junior Team coach Steve Spott was certainly busy making his list and checking it twice following the second day of selection camp at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

Spott expressed disappointment following his team's 4-1 exhibition loss to the University of Alberta on Wednesday. For some players, Spott said afterward, it was a missed opportunity.

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"We're at the process in the evaluation where players are starting to make the decisions for us and I think that was obvious [against Alberta]," Spott told the media. "Players are given an opportunity to shine and I think there were some players, in my mind, that didn't take advantage of a very good opportunity because there are jobs to be had."

The five players cut from the Canadian roster Wednesday were forwards Tyler Graovac (Minnesota Wild) and Sean Monahan (2013 draft eligible) of the Ottawa 67's, and defensemen Derrick Pouliot (Pittsburgh Penguins) of the Portland Winterhawks, Adam Pelech (New York Islanders) of the Erie Otters and Francis Beauvillier (Florida Panthers) of the Rimouski Oceanic.

"I know there were some very good players in the stands [as healthy scratches on Wednesday], but there were jobs to be had here," Spott said. "I said from Day One, 'Don't have any regrets.' I think some players may have some after [Wednesday]."

There were 12 players listed as healthy scratches against Alberta, including forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Mark Scheifele, Phillip Danault, Brett Ritchie, Charles Hudon, Boone Jenner, Jonathan Huberdeau and Ryan Strome, and defensemen Dougie Hamilton, Scott Harrington, Morgan Rielly, and Xavier Ouellet (ankle sprain).

It's interesting to note that six of the players are returnees from last year's bronze medal-winning club at the 2012 World Junior Championship, including Hamilton, Harrington, Scheifele, Jenner, Huberdeau and Strome.


The camp roster now includes 31 players, including four goalies, 10 defensemen and 17 forwards. The final cuts will be made Thursday following Canada's second meeting against the University of Calgary Dinos. The final roster will include 13 forwards, seven defensemen and three goalies.

All 10 countries participating in the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship must submit their official roster by Dec. 25.

As it stands now, three first-time draft eligible players remain on the roster, including forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin of the Halifax Mooseheads, and Hunter Shinkaruk of the Medicine Hat Tigers.

Canada will depart for a pre-competition camp in Finland on Dec. 15.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter: @mike_morreale

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