Wright among Team Canada’s early cuts
16-year-old one of five forwards and two goalies released on Thursday
RED DEER, ALTA.— Host Canada released seven players Thursday — including 16-year-old phenom Shane Wright — and named its three goaltenders for the upcoming world junior men’s hockey championship.
The departure of goalies Brett Brochu and Tristan Lennox leaves Dylan Garland, Taylor Gauthier and Devon Levi as Canada’s three goaltenders.
“Those are the three guys we’re most comfy with,” head coach Andre Tourigny said. “They all bring something a little bit different in their style. Gauthier has a lot of athleticism. He’s a big goalie as well. Garand has really, really good hands. He’s really quick. He did a really good job and same thing for Levi. He’s really fast and a little bit bigger. Side to side, his legs are really quick.”
Hockey Canada also released five forwards to get the number of players at selection camp in Red Deer down to 34.
Forwards Adam Beckman, Tyson Foerster, Hendrix Lapierre, Cole Schwindt and Wright departed. Wright was the youngest of the camp invitees and was coming off a season in which he led the Kingston Frontenacs in scoring with 39 goals and 27 assists in 58 games.
World junior rosters are 22 skaters and three goalies.
“We needed to cut the num
bers,” Tourigny said. “It’s unfortunate, but we’re really happy with the players remaining at the camp.
“Already we cut players where we thought were really good at that camp, but just at some point we need to compare players and see who will be the fit for our team and who we see playing for us.”
Canada was to play a second intrasquad game in as many days Thursday.
“You could see at some points yesterday the cardio and the stamina of the players is something we need to keep working at,” the head coach said.
Canada’s 46 players quarantined for 14 days midway through camp because two players tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
Five were released for health reasons before the players returned to the ice Tuesday.
Canada and the other nine participating countries enter Edmonton’s “bubble” on Sunday to quarantine and be tested before the tournament starts Christmas Day.
The tournament is copying the NHL’s 2020 playoff model.
Games will be played without spectators and teams will be walled off from the general public because of the pandemic.