Canada’s entry into the World Junior Championship will have youthful enthusiasm in spades.
Halifax Mooseheads teammates Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin will be joined by undrafted 19-year-old JC Lipon of the Kamloops Blazers as members of the 2013 NHL Draft class to crack Canada’s entry to the World Juniors in Ufa, getting underway on Boxing Day.
The last time two 17-year-olds made Canada’s in the same year was 2008 when John Tavares and Steve Stamkos accomplished the feat.
Lipon has been the biggest surprise out of the WHL this season, scoring 22 goals and adding 55 points in 31 games for the Blazers this season – second in league scoring – and has injected new life into his draft dream. He was a member of Team Western at the 2010 World Under-17 Challenge.
MacKinnon, Future Considerations’ top-ranked prospect, has 22 goals and 52 points in 30 games for the Mooseheads this season while Drouin has 19 goals and 48 points in 24 games for Halifax. Both are in the QMJHL’s top-10 in scoring. MacKinnon currently has a share of the league lead while Drouin – 6th in Future Considerations’ November ranking for the 2013 NHL Draft, is seventh.
Drouin skated alongside MacKinnon at this summer’s Ivan Hlinka Memorial. Drouin also represented Team Quebec at the 2011 World Under-17′s while MacKinnon served as a member of Team Atlantic.