OK, Dean's headed down to Calgary to take in WJC camp so I figured I'd better get in my picks before it begins... just to prove how smart I am.
1. Jonathon Bernier - This might be the kiss of death for hiim though because I picked him to be the starter last year too. He's not exactly lighting it up in Lewiston this year but he's got NHL experience now and to me, seems to be the most reliable after watching the Super Series.
2. Steve Mason - He is having a great year with London and I know that there were some in Columbus who felt coming out of camp he deserved to stay ahead of Fred Norrena. Mason's got the Super Series experience too, although was really hot and cold there.
3. Leland Irving - Might have been my top choice prior to the Super Series but he wasn't great then and has struggled in the WHL this year as well. Might have a leg up considering he's one of the few returning invites but at this point I think the other two are ahead of him.
4. Tyson Sexsmith - The WHL has sent the starter and the back up for the last 3 years (Price/Irving, Pogge/Dubnyk, Glass/Beauchemin) but I think that streak comes to an end now. Sexsmith was blown out in the ADT Canada-Russia challenge and would need a heck of a camp to make the club in my opinion.
1. Karl Alzer - You need some experience, he's got it... plus he's pretty good too.
2. Drew Doughty - I really liked his performance throughout the Super Series and he's more than a point/game guy in Guelph.
3. Thomas Hickey - The L.A. Kings like him more than me but he's still more than good enough to get the nod for the WJC team.
4. Logan Pyett - The competition will be fierce and I'm not saying it's what gets him on the team but it can't hurt that Pats head coach Curtis Hunt is on Canada's bench. Familiarity with players is a good thing.
5. Luke Schenn - Outside of Alzner, the guys I picked are on the smallish side and 6'2 Schenn would help balance that out. Plus he was impressive in the Super Series.
6. Ty Wishart - Statistically having a career year in Prince George and I find it too tough to ignore that 6'4.5 frame.
7. Josh Godfrey - Played well in the Super Series and like Pyette, is well known by this coaching staff.
1. Zack Boychuk - I'd really like to see a line of these first three guys, at least in camp.
2. Zack Hamill
3. Claude Giroux
4. Brandon Sutter - Centers my shutdown line with the next two guys.
5. Colton Gillies - Always better on the international stage than in Saskatoon.
6. Stefan Legein - caught my eye in the Super Series for sure.
7. John Tavares -
8. Kyle Turris -
9. Steve Stamkos -
10. Brad Marchand -
11. Shawn Matthias - Can't ignore that OHL prodcution this year (56 points in 30 GP)
12. Brett MacLean - Racking up the numbers in Oshawa playing with Tavares, why not here?
13. Nick Spaling - Tough choice here for me between him and Emmerton but Spaling is having the better year statistically.
MY cuts: Irving & Sexsmith... Bodnarchuk, Ellerby, Marshall, Smith & Subban... Esposito, Halischuk, Holzapfel, Perreault, Simmonds, Emmerton, White and Tyrell*.
*If Tyrell is healthy, he makes my team ahead of Spaling.
That's it... now it's just a matter of seeing "who is right and who is wrong". See Dean's list below to have a sneak peek at the "wrong" winner.