It’s December, and all you prospect gurus knows what that means. The World Junior Championships are almost upon us! The nations competing in this event, the biggest tournament in the junior hockey world, have started to assembled their rosters. A total of five Red Wings prospects have been selected for their respective countries preliminary roster meaning they will be one of few in consideration to make their team’s final cut on their journey to taking home a gold medal. Let’s take a look at these 5 players chances of making the final rosters.
Cholowski is enjoying a nice bounce back season in the WHL, but he’s going to have to work very hard at Canada’s selection camp to crack their blueline. Jake Bean, Kale Clauge, Dante Fabbro, Logan Stanley, and Conor Timmins should all be locks to make the roster, which leaves very little room for Cholowski. He’ll have to battle it out with Cale Makar and Josh Mahura as his main competition, among others. Cholowski isn’t a lock to make Canada, but he certainly is in the conversation.
Don’t have to worry to much about this one, Setkov should be a lock to make Team Denmark. Considering he is the only defenseman invited to their camp that has been drafted, he should have no problem making the final cut. We can also expect him to log big minutes, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a letter on his jersey as well.
Even if Kotkansalo does make Team Finland, he will get very little playing time. Finland’s Defensive corps is ridiculously stacked, boasting 5 first picks that include Miro Heiskanen, Henri Jokiharju, Olli Juolevi, Urho Vaakanainen, and Juuso Valimaki. Not to mention, Robin Salo should also be a lock. Eemeli Rasanen should be his biggest competition, in terms of landing spot 7 or 8 on the blueline. If he makes the team or not, don’t expect to see him out there very often.
Larsson is a 100% lock to make Team Sweden, mainly because Sweden only invited 3 goalies to there camp, and to carry only 2 goalies doesn’t make sense. The real question is what will his role be? The starting job will come down to either him or Filip Gustavsson. Gustavsson seems to be the favorite, but with Larsson’s great play of late in the USHL, and with a good camp, he could win over the starting role. “All the media think it’s going to be Filip (Gustavsson), but I want to show the coaches that maybe… Maybe, it should be me” Larsson said confidently, regarding his selection to Sweden’s preliminary roster.
There is a good chance Lindstrom finds himself in Buffalo in just a few weeks. Sweden’s camp invitees on defense aren’t anything that should clearly beat out Lindstrom, especially when you consider the fact they only invited 8 defenseman. I’d be surprised if Sweden sent any one of there invitees home. If it were a more difficult roster to make, the only clear locks I see are Rasmus Dahlin and Jacob Moverare. As long as he’s playing well, minutes shouldn’t be an issue either.
Notable names not selected
Both Micheal Rasmussen and Givani Smith, were left off Canada’s preliminary roster, despite being invited to their summer camp. Injuries have limited Givani Smith’s games played this year, so I’m not surprised he was left off. Rasmussen not making it also does not surprise me either. Also dealing with injuries, he hasn’t shown much improvement in 5v5 play this year, and there was a heavy amount of competition. For any of you worrying that players taken in the 4th round made it over him, no, this does not mean he’s a bust.
Keith Petruzzelli, surprisingly wasn’t invited to Team USA’s camp. What has been a rough year for Keith, he is still a possible candidate to make next years team as the starter, so it was unexpected that Bob Motzko and his associates opted to go with Jeremy Swayman as the third goaltender instead, rather then give Petruzzeli valuable experience for next year.