The final rosters for Canada East and West have recently been unveiled for the World Jr. A Challenge, and like the prospect camp, a strong CCHL presence is felt.
8 members of the league have made their way onto the final roster, including 4 members of the Cornwall Colts, not including head coach Ian MacInnis.
You can view the full roster which includes the list of CCHLers here.
Apart from the large number of Colts on the list, one name that sticks out is Derian Plouffe, team captain of the Kanata Stallions. Plouffe making it onto the squad is considered a win for the Kanata team that has struggled in the early stages of the season, and for other non-playoff teams in the CCHL.
Plouffe has certainly led by example this season – this has shown in being selected for Team Canada East, and on CCHL game sheets. He leads his team with a whopping 30 points in 18 games this year and is the first name you notice when watching the Stallions play due to his contributions on the ice.
In Cornwall, it hardly seems to be a surprise that so many Colts have fought their way onto the final roster, given the number of them at camp and where the head coach comes from, but nonetheless I still expect them to serve the national squad well, especially with the Colts in the mix for the Robinson Division title in these early stages of the season.
Leading the pack of Colts is presumed starting goaltender Jordan Piccolino, who has made the team alongside 16-year-old Jr A rookie goaltender Ben Blacker from the Milton Icehawks (OJHL).
Hearing of Blacker’s play at camp, perhaps he’ll get a shot at the starting role, but I would expect Piccolino to earn the brunt of the workload, especially after his lights-out performance in the Bogart Cup playoffs last year.
Among the other Colts to make the team, there are a few potential leadership candidates who will definitely contest for the ‘C’ and ‘A’s.
Marly Quince acts as the captain of the Cornwall Colts and could do the same for Team Canada East. His Pt/G pace of 21 points in 20 games has put him among the CCHL’s elite and would serve as a good captain for the national team in my opinion. Expect Quince and Derian Plouffe to provide leadership qualities, regardless of whether they find themselves with a letter.
Hunter Racine’s domination in an Ottawa Jr. Sens uniform has earned him a spot on the national squad as well. He acts as another point per game player who is able to pick up his game in pressure situations.
He’s already done this multiple times this year with the Jr. Sens and has emerged as a leader on that team, as well as exposing the weaker teams in the league.
The Peterborough Petes draft pick isn’t expected to be a part of a Jr. A organization for much longer, so I’m sure that the selection staff recognized the potential that Racine possesses. I am fully expecting him to flourish on the world stage in Yarmouth.
All in all, it will be interesting to see what the entire squad is able to put forth in terms of results. Canada West will be a competitive group as well, showcasing talents from leagues such as the BCHL and AJHL, leagues with very good reputations regarding calibre of play.
The international teams from the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Russia will be wild cards as well and will hopefully provide some healthy competition.
The World Jr. A Challenge starts on November 4th and it is taking place at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, NS.