A majority of the Canadian World Junior team has been lost to the NHL, or over-age.

John Taveres, Jamie Benn, Evander Kane, and possibly Alex Pietrangelo are all up in the show. PK Subban is playing with the Hamilton Bulldogs in the AHL, and will not be returning to the World Juniors.

So that leaves only a few vetern junior players to lead team Canada. Ryan Ellis, Cody Hodgson, and of course, the talk of last years tournament with his big hits and gutsy play, Stefan Della Rovere. New additions in Brayden Schenn, Taylor Hall, Luke Pither, and Nazim Kadri just to name a few, all make for great possibilities in leaders, but I'd like to take a long shot and go with the underdog in Della Rovere.

What a beauty this kid is. Suffering a shoulder injury in the Washington Capitals camp, he missed the first couple games of the OHL season with the Barrie Colts. But upon his return, he has proved once again his leadership is valued on and off the ice for the Colts, and there is no question why the organization has place the 'C' on his chest once again.

Now with 21 games played, the physical forward has recorded 8 goals and 9 assists, with a + 7 rating, and lets not forget the 42 penalty minutes.


Some would criticize him to have taken "stupid" penalties in the last World Junior Championship. But the team still won, didn't they? And people seem to forget that after some of those big hits, Canada scored. Della Rovere is always good to let out a scream or a big smile to his bench after crushing one of his opponents, and I have no doubt that any of his teammates on the gold medal winning team last year would agree that he is an asset to the team.

He is known as a voice in the locker room, on the ice, and a relatively skilled player for the amount of physicality he shows in his play. Although world hockey tournaments are more known as a finesse type of game, I still believe that this gutsy kid shows promise and would make a great leader. I'm sure my wishful thinking of him wearing the 'C' for Canada this year will be widely questioned, but I am quite sure that he will at LEAST end up with an 'A'.

Only time will tell.

- Jeff Blay