The Montreal Canadiens had a handful of hopes for the World Junior Summer Tournament which saw their hopes dashed yesterday. A trio of players trying out for Team USA have been told they won’t travel to Edmonton later this month to represent their country.
Luke Tuch was invited to the evaluation camp late, so he was a big glider anyway. He will not be one of the 25 players who will represent the United States at the postponed World Junior Championship. The 2020 second-round pick will now return to preparing for his third college season.
The Baldwinsville, New York native is a powerful and physical left winger who plays for Boston University. He scored six goals and ten points in 26 games last season, but uses his 6’2″ frame and over 200 pounds to win battles and create space for his teammates.
Blake Biondi was also present at the American summer camp. He was a 4th round pick of the Canadiens in 2020 and is coming off a strong second college season. The Hermantown, Minnesota native plays for Minnesota-Duluth, one of the top hockey programs in the United States, and scored 28 points in 42 games last season.
However, that wasn’t enough to convince the coaching staff that he should play at the World Juniors.
Lane Hutson was the Canadiens prospect who got the most attention. The second-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft is two years younger than most players who have made the team, but his passing, skill, speed and vision should have him on the shortlist .
Hutson scored 63 points in 60 games for the United Starts development program last season, which is incredible production for a defender. He will be heading to Boston University for the upcoming season and will likely represent his country at the next two Junior Worlds, but he won’t be there this month.
Curiously, Ty Smilanic, a Canadiens prospect acquired from the Florida Panthers in the trade with Ben Chiarot, was not part of the American team. Not only that, but he wasn’t even at summer evaluation camp. I say it’s strange because he was part of the team in December, and when the event was postponed to a new date, he wasn’t even invited to try out.
The United States announced its invitation list on June 16 and held its evaluation camp at the end of July. Between those two dates, the Canadiens held their development camp with Smilanic present, so an injury isn’t the reason he won’t be playing for his country this summer.
Odd. We still don’t know who will play for Team Canada, but Jan Mysak, Oliver Kapanen and Petteri Nurmi will be the Canadians’ prospects for the Summer World Junior Championships which begin August 9 and run until August 20.
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