Team Canada’s 2014 world junior championship roster nearly set; 25-player camp roster named

Hockey Canada is aiming that being leaner at camp equals meaner when it counts.

On Monday, the 25-player roster for Team Canada's national junior team selection camp was released, with head coach Brent Sutter and head scout Ryan Jankowski deciding the camp will be more for making the final decisions on the makeup of the roster. Canada has often invited 40-plus skaters and goaltenders to the camp, but after four consecutive years without a gold medal and a humbling fourth-place finish in 2013, it was clearly time for a change in tactics.

The camp runs Dec. 12-15 in Toronto. Canada does not have to set its final roster until Christmas Day, the eve of its Boxing Day opener against Germany in Malmo, Sweden. Canada also faces the Czech Republic, Slovakia and reigning gold medalist Team USA during the round-robin.

Yahoo! Junior Hockey will have further coverage of the announcement throughout the day Monday. Sources have told Yahoo! that this roster will be announced at 1 p.m. ET on Monday:

Forwards

Josh Anderson, London Knights (OHL) — Anderson, who was undrafted coming out of minor hockey, was matured into a reliable worker-bee winger for the powerhouse Knights, wearing down opponents with his energy and physicality and scoring the odd goal. Is a cousin of NHL greats Frank and Peter Mahovlich. The Columbus Blue Jackets selection projects as a role player.

Jonathan Drouin, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) — The top junior player in Canada saw time on a top line as a 17-year-old at the 2013 world junior roster. Now a year older and wiser, the Tampa Bay Lightning's No. 3 overall pick is pencilled in to be an, if not the, offensive catalyst.

Frédérik Gauthier, Rimouski Océanic (QMJHL) — The Toronto Maple Leafs' top pick from 2013 offers bulk at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds and is a solid two-way centre. The quintessential candidate to play on a grind line, where Canada could sorely use 19-year-old Washington Capitals rookie Tom Wilson.

Félix Girard, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL) — The Nashville Predators fourth-round pick is a potential energy player for Sutter. Girard's tenacity has made him a huge asset for Baie-Comeau, which went to the QMJHL final in 2013 and is currently leading its division.

Bo Horvat, London Knights (OHL) — The Vancouver Canucks traded away Corey Schneider last June so they could draft Horvat, whose aptitude at winning faceoffs could make him very useful for the squad. Horvat was the MVP of last spring's OHL playoffs. The 18-year-old also has extensive experience as a left wing.

Charles Hudon, Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL) — The diminutive Montreal Canadiens prospect is a pseudo-returning player. He made the 2013 team but missed the tournament after suffering a double fracture in his back during a pre-competition game. Hudon is a very versatilie left wing and was Drouin's linemate during the Subway Super Series, helping Team QMJHL become the only CHL squad to go 2-0.

Scott Laughton, Oshawa Generals (OHL) — Since returning from the Philadelphia Flyers, Laughton has helped Oshawa take a 10-point lead in its division in the OHL. The 19-year-old wasn't invited to the 2013 selection camp, could emerge as one of this team's leaders. Laughton's former roommate with the Gens, Boone Jenner, was a two-time member of Team Canada.

Curtis Lazar, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) — Lazar's acumen as a defensive forward secured a roster spot for the 18-year-old Ottawa Senators first-rounder, who's helped Edmonton avoid a letdown this season after after successive deep playoff runs. Lazar can also take either centre or right wing.

Taylor Leier, Portland Winterhawks (WHL) — The low-key Leier, who demurred from attending the 2012 NHL draft since he wasn't pegged as a high pick, offers speed and penalty-killing ability. The Philadelphia Flyers fourth-rounder, who was taken over his best friend Brendan Leipsic, the WHL's co-scoring leader last season, scored a short-handed goal in last week's Subway Super Series.

Anthony Mantha, Val-d'Or Foreurs (QMJHL) — The 6-foot-4 finisher par excellence has scored 80 goals since the start of last season, the most of any junior in Canada. Mantha, who had good chemistry with Drouin while playing for Team QMJHL last month, could be a good asset on the power play. He is one of two Detroit Red Wings prospects on the preliminary squad.

Connor McDavid, Erie Otters (OHL) — The Sportsnet magazine ("Better Than Crosby") cover boy has long been projected to join the select list of 16-year-olds to wear the maple leaf. McDavid dominated the world under-18 championship last spring and has led Erie from worst to first in the OHL over the past season and a half. McDavid is pegged for a top-6 role.

Sidney Crosby, back in 2004, was the most recent 16-year-old to play for Canada at the WJC, with the others being Wayne Gretzky (1978), Eric Lindros (1990), Jason Spezza (2000) and Jay Bouwmeester (2000).

Nic Petan, Portland Winterhawks (WHL) — Questions about his 5-foot-9, 173-pound frame led to Petan being available for the Winnipeg Jets to draft No. 43 overall in June, but no one in Canada has any many points (180 in 99 games) as he does since the start of the 2012-13 season. Petan has played with some very high-end talent over his time with Portland.

Sam Reinhart, Kootenay Ice (WHL) — The playmaker is aiming to be the first projected first overall NHL pick to have an impact for Team Canada since Taylor Hall did four seasons ago in 2010. Future Edmonton Oilers top pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was cut from the 2011 team and current Colorado Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon played sparingly for the ill-fated '13 team.

The right-shooting Reinhart was McDavid's linemate during Canada's summer development camp.

Kerby Rychel, Windsor Spitfires (OHL) — The Columbus Blue Jackets first-rounder is the epitome of the big, skilled, playmaking 19-year-old forward whom Hockey Canada loves. Rychel, who is the captain of the Spitfires, has a potent shot and also thrives on setting up his teammates.

Hunter Shinkaruk, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL) — A hip injury has limited the Vancouver Canucks puck this fall, but he's a proven sniper who could fit in well after being cut last season. Shinkaruk nearly broke camp with the Canucks this season before rejoining Medicine Hat, where he is captain of a contending team.

Defence

Chris Bigras, Owen Sound Attack (OHL) — Bigras is mature beyond his 18 years at reading plays and earned an extended stay at the Colorado Avalanche's training camp this fall after being a high second-round pick. Bigras helped Canada win the world under-18 championship this spring.

Matt Dumba, Minnesota Wild (NHL) / Red Deer Rebels (WHL) — Dumba made a strong push for a spot at ages 17 and 18 before making the leap to the NHL this fall. He's been in and out of the Wild's lineup, prompting the team to loan him to Canada where he will reunite with his junior coach, Sutter. Dumba has an offensive spark and can also lay a momentum-swinging open-ice check.

Aaron Ekblad, Barrie Colts (OHL) — The youngest defenceman on the team entered junior hockey a year early as the OHL's second 'exceptional status' defenceman. Ekblad, who could be the first defenceman to hear his name at the 2014 NHL draft, possesses good size and judgement. He helped Barrie come within a goal of winning the OHL title last season. Ekblad thrived in the summer with Canada's under-18 team, flourishing on the larger European ice surface.

Josh Morrissey, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) — The Winnipeg Jets first-rounder last June has the aptitude and agility to play on the wider European ice surface. The 18-year-old Morrissey, who can quarterback a power play, has also shown his maturity by becoming captain for a Raiders club that is vying for first in its division.

Adam Pelech, Erie Otters (WHL) — The New York Islanders second-rounder is the No. 1 defender on his league's No. 1 team. Pelech plays the type of no-fuss game that Hockey Canada relishes in second and third pairing D-men; Hockey Canada first brought him along to the Canada-Russia Challenge series in 2012.

Derrick Pouliot, Portland Winterhawks (WHL) — Smooth-skating blueliner made a good run at cracking the 2013 squad, then returned to Portland and helped it win the Ed Chynoweth Cup and reach the Memorial Cup final. The Pittsburgh Penguins first-rounder is one of three Winterhawks named to the roster.

Griffin Reinhart, Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL) — Reinhart has three games left on an IIHF suspension handed down for a high stick during the 2013 WJC semifinal, meaning he can't play until the Team USA game on New Year's Eve. The New York Islanders prospect's physical presence and experience made him too valuable to leave off the preliminary roster.

Damon Severson, Kelowna Rockets (WHL) — Jack-of-all-trades 19-year-old defenceman averages nearly a point per game for Kelowna and is both agile and sound positionally. Severson was a New Jersey Devils second-round choice in 2012.

Goalies

Zach Fucale, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)— Exemplar of economy and efficiency whom the Montreal Canadiens made the first goalie selected in the 2013 NHL draft. Fucale is a workhorse who backed Halifax to the MasterCard Memorial Cup in 2013.

Jake Paterson, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)— The 19-year-old was the third-stringer last season and entered the season as a presumed frontrunner. The Detroit Red Wings selection thrived last year at keeping Saginaw in games last season during a period where it was rebuilding. The Spirit has not quite played up to high expectations this season, which somewhat accounts for Paterson's 3.53 average and .903 save percentage.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to btnblog@yahoo.ca.

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