Preview: Team Canada shoots for back to back gold medals


Can it be done? Of course. Will it be easy? Never.

Now losing Kirby Dach is a huge blow to Team Canada’s roster at the 2021 World Juniors in Edmonton, but it’s not the end of the world. The depth on this team is arguably better than last year and Canada may have found a diamond in the rough between the pipes.

Let’s start up front… André Tourigny’s crew features six returnees total, including Quinton Byfield, Dylan Cozens, Connor McMichael and Dawson Mercer. These guys are going to be relied upon a lot, but they’re not going to have to do all the heavy lifting. The red and white’s depth has an incredible college connection in Dylan Holloway and Alex Newhook who should be on this year’s energy line. Connor Zary and Peyton Krebs bring that classic western kid dynamic into the lineup. Then you’ve got your elite skill, Suzuki, Quinn, Perfetti, Tomasino and Pelletier. No one in this tournament can match what Canada has up front and that includes some pretty damn good teams like USA and Russia.

On the back end, you’ve got the two best offensive defenceman in the tournament. Bowen Byram and Jamie Drysdale are the most dynamic and impressive defence pairing I’ve seen in a LONG time. Lock that down with the additions of Kaiden Guhle, Braden Schneider and Thomas Harley and you’ve got an impressive back end.

In net, I never thought I’d see the day when Canada rides a college tendy into the tournament, but damn Devon Levi looked good against Russia in pre-tournament play. He has a little Jonny Quick in him with a battle factor that is needed to succeed at the next level. Let’s not forget though, he’s never even started an NCAA game and is coming out of the CCHL… crazy to think. I think Garrand and Gauthier are both solid backup options, but I’m super optimistic after watching Levi shutout the Russians.

This team should roll through the round robin portion and finish atop Group A. That would set them up for a quarterfinal against the Czech’s likely, then a semifinal against either the Americans or Sweden and then a gold medal rematch against Russia.

Can it be done? Of course. Will it be easy? Never.

Photo Credit – @HC_WJC Twitter

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