As expected, Samuel Girard is one of 32 players who will try to win one of the 22 places available with Team Canada Junior 2017.
The national program leaders announced on Tuesday that three goaltenders, 10 defenders and 19 forwards have been given the privilege of reporting to head coach Dominique Ducharme on December 11 in Boisbriand for the outing of the final camp.
Girard, 18, is one of the nine QMJHL players selected for this final phase, which is an excellent vintage for the Courteau circuit.
Others are Thomas Chabot (Saint John), Julien Gauthier (Val-d’Or), Jérémy Lauzon (Rouyn-Noranda), Philippe Myers (Rouyn-Noranda), Guillaume Brisebois Breton), Mathieu Joseph (Saint-John) and Nicolas Roy (Chicoutimi) complete the list of selected players.
Chabot and Gauthier were part of the team last year, which had disappointed with a sixth place. The QMJHL has as many guest players as the OHL and three less than the Western Hockey League.
Anthony Beauvillier (Shawinigan) could join the select group along the way if the Islanders decide to serve the national junior team.
Team Canada junior will play three preparatory games on December 19, 21 and 23 in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. The tournament will begin on December 26th.
“The line is thin”
Dominique Ducharme drew lessons from Team Canada’s unfortunate experience at the World Junior Hockey Championship last year. And the one who will be at the helm next month intends to make every effort to realize the goal of winning the gold medal, especially as the tournament is presented to the country.
“The line is slim between a win and a defeat given the quality of the opposition in this type of tournament,” said Ducharme on Tuesday.
The one who was Dave Lowry’s deputy in Helsinki last year therefore intends to call for a formation that will have all the qualities necessary to buy back last year’s disappointment when Canada was eliminated as early as last year. Quarter-finals by Finland, eventual champion. It was the first time since 1998 that Canada was not in the medal round.
“From day one, we said we wanted to form a special team, made up of individuals who can make a difference,” added the current general manager and head coach of the Voltigeurs de Drummondville. So we selected the best players available. ”
The philosophy of Team Canada’s junior management staff this year is to go with the best players at every position and then adapt to put them in the best possible conditions to succeed.
“We want to be complete, to bet on a team that combines speed and creativity, who is responsible with the puck, disciplined. We need to create chances to score when we are in possession of the puck, but also be able to defend ourselves and remove maneuvering space from the best opponents. We also need solid performances in front of goals. A tournament like this is not won by betting on one facet of the game. ”