Last night, Team Canada took the first step towards finalizing their roster for the World Junior Hockey Championship by cutting six players from their selection camp. The camp roster is now down to 27 - with Colorado Avalanche prospects Cale Makar and Conor Timmins still among the players looking to make the team.
Both Makar and Timmins played in one of the two games this week against the U Sports All-Stars. Each one looked good in their outing, and word from Hockey Canada is that both have impressed the coaching staff enough to make the team.
Makar seems like a lock because of his raw skill. In a short tournament like this, it’s always best to err on the side of talent - regardless of what we’ve seen from USA Hockey over recent years.
Makar will be in the lineup again this afternoon as Canada takes on Denmark while Timmins is likely to see game action tomorrow against the Swiss.
Red Wings prospect Dennis Cholowski, and Jets prospect Logan Stanley were the two defenders to get cut yesterday. That brings the blueline group down to eight. With a maximum of only one more defenseman to be cut, we are guaranteed to see at least one Avs prospect representing Canada at the World Juniors.
The next set of cuts are expected after the two games this weekend.
One note of interest is that Tyson Jost is still listed as an invitee on Hockey Canada's website. People around Team Canada are still holding out hope that Joe Sakic can be talked into releasing Jost for the tournament.
Jost played only 12 minutes last night and though he’s looked better over the past three games, a couple weeks of big minutes away from the Avs bottom-6 might do him some good.