Seattle Thunderbirds defenceman Shea Theodore isn’t letting the disappointment of getting snubbed from Team Canada’s world junior tryout and the Subway Super Series get the best of him. Instead, he is using it as motivation to prove Hockey Canada’s brain trust wrong while putting his name in the conversation for next year.
“I want to prove them (Hockey Canada) wrong and maybe make them think twice about their decision,” says Theodore. “The world juniors and Super Series were two things I wanted to be a part of. It was disappointing to not get the opportunity, but if I can finish out this year really strong I think that will maybe make them think about their decision more and get my name in the mix for next year.”
Taking into account Hockey Canada only handed out 25 invites this year, it ultimately wasn’t that surprising to see Theodore not receive an invite to the world junior camp. The Super Series was a bit of a different story, though. The Anaheim Ducks first-round pick made a strong case to represent Team WHL in at least one of the two games. He has thrived as arguably the league’s top puck-moving blueliner this year as he currently leads all Dub defenders in points with 12 goals and 38 points in 30 games while never going three games in a row without a point.
“That was tough to take – I thought my play this year was good enough (for an invite to the Super Series),” he says. “I feel I’m a more consistent player this year and am better in my own end. But I also know there are other very good defencemen in this league, too. It’s not easy to get an invite because Canada is so deep.”
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Theodore should receive a second crack at both the world juniors and Super Series next year. He will be a year older and will likely be a more distinguished player, assuming his development stays at the steady upward curve that it's currently on. In addition, there will be open spots as the likes of the Portland Winterhawks’ Derrick Pouliot and Kelowna Rockets’ Damon Severson, who received invites this year, will be over the age requirements.
“I hope it will work out – that’s my goal,” says the 18-year-old on cracking the world juniors and Super Series next year. “I just need to keep on working hard and staying consistent. It is something I’m going to strive for the rest of this year and next year.”
As a blueliner known for his offensive abilities, Theodore knows the stereotype that puck-moving defenders struggle in their own end follows him. On one hand, the Aldergrove, B.C., native knows that he has things to work on in the defensive zone. But on the other hand, he feels he’s somewhat of a underrated player on his team’s side of centre ice.
“My defensive-zone play is something I work on a lot,” says Theodore, who has elicited comparisons to Washington Capitals star Mike Green. “It’s important to take care of things in your own end first. But since I’m a strong skater, I can use that in my own end to skate the puck out. I don’t think of myself as just an offensive defenceman. I think I’m someone who can play well at both ends.”
Looking into his long-term future, Theodore saw a strong comparable at Ducks camp in Cam Fowler as a type of player that he wants to develop into.
“He’s someone that I think I play like,” he says. “He’s a great puck-moving defenceman that creates a lot of offensive chances. I think he’s a good player for me to look up to.”
Kelly Friesen is a Buzzing the Net columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KellyFriesen