We’re slowly approaching the World Junior Championships, and countries are beginning to invite players to their camps, where the rosters will be further trimmed. New York Rangers prospect and 2010 2nd round selection Christian Thomas has been invited to the camp. Thomas has respectable numbers this season, with 8 goals and 15 points in 18 games, but he truly earned the invite on his performance from last season, where he netted 54 goals in 66 games. Here is the full list of invites
Thomas still has to prove he deserves to make it onto the actual roster. Canada has only invited an astonishing three returning players, meaning that the battle for roster spots is wide open. But, as is expected with Canada, there is a ton of competition. Thomas is going to have to up his performance to earn a spot.
I also feel awful for Dylan McIlrath. We spoke to him in May and he very much wanted to earn an invite for this year’s camp. I have to question how some of the defensemen on the list earned invites over Dylan, and people I talked to who have watched him believe he deserved an invite. That being said, the junior game is heavily reliant on speed, and thus I can see the concerns for Canada’s staff. Big defensemen have historically underachieved at World Juniors.