Though head coach Don Hay plies his trade with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey league, there will be no bias when it comes to selecting Canada’s roster for the World Junior Championship.
Hay, who has coached the Giants for the last six seasons, suggested that he’s familiar with all 41 camp invitees, not just the 16 from the WHL.
“I don’t think I’m more comfortable with them,” Hay said. “I had the opportunity to go out and watch the Subway Series in Victoriaville and then in Ontario in Sault Ste. Marie. I coached the Western team in Regina and Moose Jaw. I was able to see six of the Quebec players at our summer camp.”
The WHL led all leagues in camp attendees. The Ontario Hockey League added another 15, while the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League had eight. Two additional players will come from the college ranks.
In other words, there will not be a Western bias based on a WHL head coach according to Hay.
“I feel comfortable with all the players that are coming to camp,” Hay said. “We’ve gone out and tried to pick the best players possible to make the team.”
Hockey Canada’s coaching and scouting staff will attempt to whittle down 41 players to a final roster of 22. That doesn’t include any potential releases from the National Hockey League.
“We’re going to have some really difficult decisions coming up getting down to 22 players, but I think that Kevin (Prendergast) and the coaches have covered all the bases on what type of player we’re looking for and what type of role they’ll fit in,” Hay added. “We’re comfortable with whoever those 22 players are going to be.”
Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!