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  • Team Canada head coach Steve Spott and captain Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (The Canadian Press)

    His nickname might be "Nuge" but on Friday afternoon, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins became the newest "Captain Canada."

    The 19-year-old Edmonton Oilers star skated out wearing the "C" on his sweater when Team Canada took their traditional photo prior to leaving for the world junior championship in Ufa, Russia.

    "To pick a leadership group from a group like this, it's difficult," said Team Canada head coach Steve Spott. "I would assume 80 per cent of the guys on our roster are captains with their respective (club) teams."

    Nugent-Hopkins was playing with the Oilers' AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City during the NHL lockout before being loaned to Team Canada. According to Spott there's still no guarantee from the Oilers that Canada can keep the talented forward in the event the lockout ends soon — however unlikely that might seem now.

    "I do know that (director of hockey operations) Scott Salmond did have some contact with the Edmonton Oilers and they were fully supportive of the decision and excited for Ryan," said Spott. "We definitely made sure we spoke with Edmonton and they were part of the process."

    Saint John Sea Dogs star forward Jonathan Huberdeau and London Knights defenceman Scott Harrington — both members of Team Canada's bronze medal-winning squad last year — were named alternates.

    Spott said that Nugent-Hopkins' maturity and professional experience weighed heavily in the decision to name him captain, even though the Calder Trophy finalist is a world junior rookie.

    Read More »from Team Canada WJC2013: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gets the ‘C’ for Canada
  • Ottawa Senators first-rounder Stefan Noesen (OHL Images)

    Chalk this up to the difference between leagues in scheduling and supplemental discipline, but that does not make it fair to Stefan Noesen and Team USA.

    Earlier this week, Team Canada left wing Jonathan Huberdeau was suspended four games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for an incident where a linesman was injured. The suspension was academic since it covered a stretch where Huberdeau would be with Canada in preparation for the IIHF world U20 championship instead of the Saint John Sea Dogs. But Plymouth Whalers star Stefan Noesen might not get away scot-free. As Chris M. Peters of the awesome United States of Hockey blog uncovered, Noesen's 10-game suspension from the Ontario League for a charging major/game misconduct last weekend imperils his availability to the Yanks for the world junior hockey championship.

    Peters explains it better than I can:

    Confirmed via source with direct knowledge of the situation,
    IIHF will honor OHL's suspension, which would cost Noesen a shot at playing at the World Juniors. USA Hockey has appealed the decision.

    ... Even if the IIHF accounts for time served, the Whalers only have two games between now and the start of the tournament. Noesen already sat out Wednesday night's game. Using that info, there will be seven games left on Noesen's suspension which would mean he'd likely have to miss about four or five tournament games. If the IIHF decides to uphold the ruling, it likely dashes Noesen's hopes. (United States of Hockey)

    Read More »from WJC2013: Team USA may lose Ottawa Senators pick Stefan Noesen to OHL suspension
  • Boston Bruins prospect Dougie Hamilton (OHL Images)

    For Marty Williamson, it must be like playing poker at Hogwarts — those three aces in his hand could suddenly disappear thanks to unseen forces. The lockout windfall that the Niagara IceDogs received from getting defenceman Dougie Hamilton, right wing Brett Ritchie and centre Ryan Strome from the very start of the season until they departed for Team Canada has been a big twist in the OHL season.

    Now the impasse is affecting how entire league approaches the Jan. 10 trade deadline. The IceDogs have three bona fide 19-year-old stars, which usually is a prompt to load up for a playoff run. But coach-GM Williamson, whose team struggled to score Thursday without its big guns, also has to restock with draft picks as the IceDogs look to be a contender when their new arena opens in St. Catharines, Ont., in a couple seasons. Ron Burgundy was never in such a pickle.

    Read More »from Niagara IceDogs’ Dougie Hamilton dilemma complicates OHL trade deadline
  • Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    World junior

    Team Canada coach Steve Spott tells Sunaya Sapurji he was tempted to prank his Kitchener Rangers defenceman, Ryan Murphy, before telling the 19-year-old he had made the squad. (Yahoo! Canada Sports)

    Canada has a promising final-but-not-final roster. (Calgary Herald)

    Jonathan Huberdeau doesn't want to think about the prospect of the NHL lockout ending while he is with Team Canada. (La Presse)

    Can 18-year-old goalie Jake Paterson push to be one of the two on the final roster? (Postmedia News)

    Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon are also the first two Halifax Mooseheads to make Team Canada. Brad Marchand does not count! (Halifax Chronicle-Herald)

    Winnipeg Jets management is glad Mark Scheifele is playing "a larger role on a bigger stage" with Team Canada. (Winnipeg Free Press)

    Would Vancouver Canucks prospect Frank Corrado be on standby in case Canada had a defenceman recalled by the NHL? (The Canuck Way, Vancouver Province)

    Calgary Flames prospect Laurent Brossoit was betwixt and between about being the odd goalie out. (Postmedia News)

    Read More »from Huberdeau blocks out lockout talk: Friday’s coast-to-coast
  • Erie Otters' Connor Crisp (OHL Images)No. 1 star: Connor Crisp, Erie Otters (OHL)

    Crisp has a hand in a hat trick before in Niagara, but this time it was his own instead of Ryan Strome's. The 18-year-old who famously filled in as a netminder last season filled the IceDogs' net, getting his third of the night with 4:29 to play to cement a 4-2 Otters win.

    Getting his first major junior hat trick won't garner Crisp (3G, +1) nearly as much attention as his stint in net did. However, it was a delight for the Otters to see both he and Dane Fox (1G-1A, +1) in full flight after each has dealt with significant injuries. A shoulder injury cost Crisp nearly all of last season, but the Alliston, Ont., native has shown improvement with 12 goals and 18 points in 33 games. In the first period, Crisp pulled the Otters level just 78 seconds after Niagara's opening goal by popping in his own rebound on a 2-on-1 break. The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder put Erie ahead for good with a tip-in 13 seconds into the second; in the third, he tipped in Fox's pass for the late-game clincher.

    It was the Otters' first win in St. Catharines in nearly four years. The last came on Dec. 31, 2009.

    Read More »from Erie Otters’ Connor Crisp nets hat trick in Niagara: Thursday’s 3 Stars
  • Team Canada has been selected and one can tell from the look on your face that you want to talk about it.

    So with that in mind, Buzzing The Net's weekly Chatravaganza about all things junior hockey (but mostly Team Canada, one suspects) will shift to a special time. The roster is expected to be announced around 8:45 p.m. ET tonight; immediately following at 9 p.m., there will be chat to discuss the choices. Sunaya Sapurji has been on-site all week at the selection camp in Calgary, while the rest of the BTN gang and a cast of many will chime in as well.

    Please remember the Chatravagazna is BYOP — bring your own peanuts.

    A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

    Read More »from Team Canada WJC2013 Chatravaganza: Thursday 9 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. MT!
  • Team Canada's likely offensive leaders Mark Scheifele and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (The Canadian Press)

    The captain and alternates are yet to be chosen and an end to the NHL lockout, but Team Canada has been chosen.

    Hockey Canada announced its 23-player roster on Thursday for the IIHF world U20 championship, with a strong emphasis on depth up front and along the blueline. The Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-led squad that coach Steve Spott hopes he will have for the Dec. 26 opener at the world junior championship in Ufa, Russia includes five of the first nine players taken in the 2011 NHL draft, thanks in part to Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr. It also includes six returning players from last season's bronze-medal squad. For the first time since 2008, two 17-year-olds made the team, with the Halifax Mooseheads' two-man electric circus of Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon making the cut.

    By process of elimination, and thanks to Tweeting journalists at the camp in Calgary, here is a look at the roster Canada will depart with when it leaves Saturday for further preparation in Finland. The lineup does not have to be settled until Christmas Day, the eve of the tournament.

    Here is a rundown of the roster.

    Read More »from Team Canada WJC2013: the team is chosen
  • Brendan Lemieux, 16, joined Barrie in November (OHL Images)

    Like father, like son — unfortunately for Brendan Lemieux. And even more unfortunately for Roland McKeown, one of the most promising defencemen in all of junior hockey.

    Claude Lemieux, during his long NHL tenure and depending on your fan allegiances, either good at playing the villain or was just loathsome for dirty play. It is not always fair to a young hockey player that he has to carry his father's legacy or always face the inevitable comparisons, but a lot of people will probably think it didn't take too long for 16-year-old Brendan Lemieux to show the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. The left wing for the OHL's Barrie Colts, who will likely be chosen in the 2014 NHL draft, only needed a dozen games in the league to get his first suspension for a vicious check from behind on McKeown last Saturday (video: Rogers Television).

    Read More »from Claude Lemieux’s son, Barrie Colts’ Brendan Lemieux, gets 8-game ban in OHL (VIDEO)
  • Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...

    World junior

    No need for Hockey Canada to press the panic button over a three-year gold-medal drought, eh? (Toronto Sun)

    We are really comparing save percentages for Canada's four goalies through two glorified scrimmages? Malcolm Subban has been outplayed, though. (Calgary Sun, Calgary

    Team Canada goaltending hopeful Laurent Brossoit has francophone heritage but does not speak French. I think I read about this during the MasterCard Memorial Cup. (Calgary Sun)

    Four Quebecers on Team Canada? Sounds promising. (La Presse)

    Dave King, who coached Canada's first world junior gold medallist in 1982, reflects on how the event has grown within this country. (Saskatoon StarPhoenix)

    New York Rangers first-rounder J.T. Miller talks about playing in his second world junior for Team USA. (Blueshirts United)

    Read More »from Dominik Volek bound for Red Deer: Thursday’s coast-to-coast
  • Charles Inglis with the San Jose Sharks in a 2011 prospects tournament (Getty)Charles Inglis can play, but it won't be in the Western Hockey League.

    The by-most-accounts outspoken 20-year-old forward had a last, best chance to make something of his remaining time in the WHL after the Kamloops Blazers acquired him for a song (a conditional draft choice last month). Whatever the reason — and keep in mind many overages can be jettisoned without regret if a team believes it has to make room for a better one, since teams are limited to three 20-year-olds — his chance with the division-leading Blazers did not last very long.

    From Gregg Drinnan:

    Shortly after the Blazers had been beaten 5-2 by the Oil Kings in Edmonton, Kamloops issued a news release. Here it is, in its entirety:

    "General Manager Craig Bonner announced tonight that the Blazers have parted ways with 20-year-old forward Charles Inglis.

    "Inglis came to the Blazers in a trade in late November. Inglis played 11 games with the Blazers and recorded five assists in his short time." (Taking Note)

    Read More »from Kamloops Blazers’ Charles Inglis experiment ends


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