Expect Stamkos to miss world jrs
You've got to love Hockey Canada. Here's the tagline on their site at the moment: "Only 155 days until the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship."
The Team Canada hopefuls are just about to hit the ice for their "development camp," which begins Friday in Ottawa. And, in a move that's not much of a surprise, Steven Stamkos is nowhere to be found.
He'll be skating in a development camp with the Lightning.
Despite the fact he doesn't turn 19 until next February, all indications are Stamkos will be skating for Tampa Bay this season, no matter what happens in training camp or that the team has oodles of forwards vying for spots.
Generally, when it comes to the Canadian team, the rule is "no summer camp, no tournament" — although I'm sure the hockey minds could make an allowance if by some fluke Stamkos is available.
Who is working out for Canada? Returning players from last year's gold-medal win include Luke Schenn, Drew Doughty, John Tavares, Kyle Turris, P.K. Subban, Colton Gillies and Brandon Sutter. Thomas Hickey and Zach Boychuk were also invited, but both have had surgery recently and are unavailable at this point.
Minus Stamkos, the team could see as many as nine returnees, although it seems likely at least Turris plays in the NHL in Phoenix. It's also possible that Doughty, Hickey and Schenn make that jump.
Other first-round picks to watch include:
- Blues defender Alex Pietrangelo
- Sabres prospects Tyler Myers and Tyler Ennis
- Canucks forward Cody Hodgson
- Oilers forwards Riley Nash (of Kamloops) and Jordan Eberle
- Islanders forward Josh Bailey
- Kings defender Colten Teubert
- Predators goaltender Chet Pickard
- Wild defender Tyler Cuma
- Red Wings defender Brendan Smith
- Coyotes defender Nick Ross
- Sharks forward Logan Couture
- Flames forward Greg Nemisz
The world juniors will run from Dec. 26, 2008, until Jan. 5, 2009, in Ottawa.
Labels: world jrs