Team Canada made their preliminary roster announcement Monday afternoon:
Blackhawks hopefuls are the following:
- Defensemen Kevin Korchinski (2022, first-round)
- Defensemen Nolan Allan (2021, first-round)
- Defensemen Ethan Del Mastro (2021, fourth-round)
- Forward Colton Dach (2021, second-round)
- Forward Ryan Greene (2022, second-round)
The selection of Korchinski and Del Mastro should come as no surprise. Korchinski is one of the most offensively gifted Canadian defensive prospects — his 1.33 points-per-game rate is third among all WHL defensemen — while Del Mastro has been a member of four other Team Canada rosters at the international level, including winning gold at the 2022 World Juniors. Many have predicted both would make this year’s team as well, including The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler:
It's December, aka World Juniors season. Canada and USA will announce selection camp rosters next week.— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) December 2, 2022
Here's my tournament preview, including group and medal predictions, and full roster picks for Canada, USA, Sweden and Finland. https://t.co/bQSZv9jL86 pic.twitter.com/a9rvwA6hyM
The other players invited have been making cases for themselves all season.
Nolan Allan has always been a starlet defensively, but his steady improvement in generating offense — 52 points in 81 WHL games with the Prince Albert Raiders over the last season and half — earned him a trade to the Seattle Thunderbirds that united him with Korchinski. Team Canada is likely interested in what the pair could do together on an international stage.
The two forwards haven’t been slacking either: Dach has racked up an impressive 17 points (9 G, 8 A) in 14 WHL games with the Kelowna Rockets, while Ryan Greene has 14 points (6 G, 8 A) in 14 NCAA games with Boston University. They are the highest producing Blackhawks forward prospects in their respective leagues currently.
Just to note, these are the the initial roster selections with the final 23-player rosters to be announced later this month, but competition will likely be tougher for the Blackhawks forward prospects than the defensemen. The Athletic’s Corey Pronman goes into more of the selection process and competition for final roster spots:
For additional insight into the development progress of the Canadian prospects selected, The Athletic’s Scott Powers discussed this topic recently with Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson:
The Blackhawks had five players invited to Canada’s World Juniors camp. I talked to GM Kyle Davidson about each player’s development. https://t.co/R1MI8W7Q2i— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) December 8, 2022
The only other Blackhawks invitee to a selection camp was forward Victor Stjernborg, a 2021 fourth-round pick, for Team Sweden. The announcement was Wednesday:
JVM-truppen— Tre Kronor (@Trekronorse) December 7, 2022
Här är spelarna som förbundskapten Magnus Hävelid tar med till JVM i Kanada.
"Vi har ett offensivt slagkraftigt lag", säger Magnus Hävelid, förbundskapten för Juniorkronorna.
Läs mer om JVM här: https://t.co/0KlG0EzX5W#wjc2023 #jvm #juniorkronorna pic.twitter.com/eVuT49nmI5
Stjernborg has just four assists with Växjö Lakers HC in the SHL, but he’s primarily known for his near-elite defensive prowess and high-energy performance in games. This will be his second World Juniors tournament, having won bronze with Team Sweden in 2022.
And unlike the players mentioned above, Stjernborg has already made the final cut for his team roster, as it’s been announced he’ll be team captain:
Lagkapten för Juniorkronorna i JVM blir Victor Stjernborg.— Tre Kronor (@Trekronorse) December 7, 2022
”Ett självklart val. Han har varit med tidigare på JVM och är en stark karaktär. Han blir en viktig ledare för det här laget”, säger förbundskapten Magnus Hävelid. pic.twitter.com/BBLybo8Bkh
The 2023 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship will take place from Dec. 26, 2022 through Jan. 5, 2023 in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.