Canadian juniors play spirited intrasquad game

Senior hockey writer Tim Wharnsby was at Tuesday night's intrasquad game at the Canadian junior team selection camp in Calgary and had praise for Morgan Rielly, Malcolm Subban and Brett Ritchie.
Young Nathan MacKinnon, left, has been assigned a roommate with NHL experience, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Edmonton Oilers. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

The Canadian junior team is preparing for the tournament in Russia at a selection camp in Calgary. Observations from the intrasquad game Tuesday at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre, won by the Reds over the Whites, 3-1.

First impressions

  • The passing game of Moose Jaw defenceman Morgan Rielly was precise and noticeable on the big ice.
  • Kudos to the Dallas Stars scouting staff. They have a good prospect in Brett Ritchie of the Niagara IceDogs and they snatched him in the second round (44th overall) in 2011. He's physical — he hammered Matt Dumba in second period — and had the most scoring chances .
  • Halifax forwards Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon, both 17, are so good that this may be their last chance to play in a world juniors because they'll be in the NHL next season.
  • Two scouts I trust told me that Rielly, Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Murphy, Scott Harrington and Xavier Ouellett were locks on the blue-line.
  • Erie's Adam Pelech was so steady in this game. He made a strong bid on the first day in snatching one of the two vacant spots.
  • Ouellett was back skating on Tuesday, but he was held out of the intra-squad game to rest his ankle injury.
  • Belleville goalie Malcolm Subban will give Canada its first dominant goalie since Carey Price in 2007. He follows the play so well and as a result is always in position. Among the handful of big stops he made, he stoned Anthony Camara.
  • I feel sorry for Ottawa's Sean Monahan, who turns 18 on Wednesday. He arrived at camp having not seen any game action since Nov. 20 after getting nailed for a 10-game suspension for an elbow to the head of Plymouth captain Colin MacDonald.
  • Remarkable that a standing-room crowd of 5,500 showed up for an intra-squad game.

What's next? 

The Canadian juniors will play exhibition games against the CIS's No. 1-ranked Alberta Golden Bears on Wednesday and a combination of university teams from Calgary and Lethbridge on Thursday. Final cuts are expected Thursday evening.

The team will fly to Europe on Saturday after practice.

Game Summary

Goal scorers

Red: Phillip Danault (14:20, 3rd), Frank Corrado (18:57, 3rd), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (19:47, ENG, 3rd).

White: Hunter Shinkauk (14:56, 3rd).


Red: Jordan Binninton (5-5); Laurent Brossoit (17-18).

White: Jake Paterson (10-10); Malcolm Subban(14-16).

Forwards (LW-C-RW)

Red: Jonathan Huberdeau - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Mark Scheifele; Jonathan Drouin - Nathan MacKinnon - J.C. Lipon; Anthony Camara - Phillip Danault - Tom Wilson; Francis Beauvillier

White: Charles Hudon - Ryan Strome - Brett Ritchie; Daniel Catenacci - Boone Jenner - Ty Rattie; Sean Monahan - Tyler Graovac - Mark McNeill; Hunter Shinkaruk

Defence (L-R)

White: Morgan Rielly - Dougie Hamilton; Tyler Wotherspoon - Frank Corrado; Griffin Reinhart - Mathew Dumba

Red: Scott Harrington - Xavier Ouellet; Adam Pelech - Ryan Murphy; Derrick Pouliot - Ryan Sproul