Rosters for the 2013 World Junior Championship will begin to take shape over the next couple of weeks. Some countries have already started their selection camps, while others will begin shortly. Due to the NHL lockout there will be no shortage of star power in the tournament. Fans of the Edmonton Oilers could have plenty to cheer about with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
set to represent Team Canada and Nail Yakupov
likely to suit up for Team Russia.
Some heavy hitting players will have to leave their teams shortly, but that didn’t’ stop them from shining in their respective leagues last week. Some world junior camp invitees will be featured in this instalment of the CHL Report, which pays homage to a number of defensemen:
(Portland Winterhawks) - Jones is expected to battle it out with Nathan MacKinnon
for the number one overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft all year. He made his presence felt last week with one goal and seven assists in just four games. Jones has 28 points in 30 contests during his rookie year of WHL competition. He is currently tied for third among blueliners in league scoring and is projected to be an important part of Team USA's back end at the World Junior Championship. Jones' efforts have helped the Winterhawks post a remarkable 25-5-1-0 record, which is the best in the WHL.
Jaimen Yakubowski (Lethbridge Hurricanes) - Yakubowski has captured the Player of the Week honor in the WHL for the last two weeks in a row. He is the second player to accomplish that feat this year. For the period ending December 9th
, he generated six goals and three assists over three matches. The 18-year-old forward has 19 goals and 32 points in 35 games in his second WHL campaign. He has already surpassed his offensive totals from his rookie season and has picked up a whopping 87 penalty minutes as well.
(CHI - Victoriaville Tigres) - Danault will attend Canada's selection camp, where he is slated to compete for the job of fourth-line center because of the team's projected depth. With Victoriaville, he has been firing on all cylinders. The Chicago prospect has 44 points in 29 games, which places him 14th in league scoring and tops on his team. He earned the QMJHL's first Star of the Week honor on Monday after he notched one goal and seven helpers in only two outings.
(Blainville-Boisbriand) - Carrier was originally selected in the sixth round of the 2010 draft by Washington, but his rights were not retained by the team. He wasn't drafted in 2012 so he'll be looking for a new organization once his junior career is over. The 20-year-old defenseman has been doing his best to land on the radar of NHL scouts this season registering 22 points in 32 games with the Armada. Carrier captured the QMJHL's third Star of the Week after he produced five assists and six points in three matches.
(Barrie Colts) - O'Connor leads all OHL rearguards with a career-high 14 goals in 27 games this season. The 20-year-old defender is presently tied for second in scoring among defensemen with 31 points. He notched four goals and three assists in two appearances en route to earning the OHL Player of the Week award for the period ending December 9th
. O'Connor is quickly closing in on his personal best of 41 points, which he posted in 2010-11 with Saginaw.
(SJS - Sarnia Sting) - The 20-year-old netminder reached an OHL milestone last week when he collected his 115th career win on Sunday. His 29-save, 4-1 victory over Sault Ste. Marie broke the previous record of 114 OHL wins, which was held by Kyle Gajewski. Anderson posted a mark of 2-0-0-1 with a 0.97 goals-against average, a .973 save percentage and one shutout last week to help him earn the achievement. The undrafted San Jose prospect has 15 wins in 27 appearances this year as a member of the Sarnia Sting.
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