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Team Canada makes final cuts for WJHC

887 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  panoo Staff
12/15/2006 12:37:11 PM

Team Canada's final roster for the 2007 World Junior Hockey Championship won't have younger talents like 17-year-old Angelo Esposito or 16-year-old John Tavares, but features two other impressive players who survived Friday's cuts.

Forward Sam Gagner of the London Knights, 17, and Calgary Hitmen defenceman Karl Alzner, 18, join a seasoned squad that already has 11 returning players from the 2006 gold medal team.

"It's time to move forward, get to work and build our team," said head coach Craig Hartsburg.

The news was not as good for six other hopefuls, as Hockey Canada released Lewiston goaltender Jonathan Bernier, London netminder Steve Mason, Brandon Wheat Kings defenceman Dustin Kohn, Brendan Mikkelson of the Vancouver Giants, Mississauga Ice Dogs forward Cody Bass and Gatineau forward Claude Giroux on Friday morning.

Gagner, son of former NHLer Dave Gagner, has been tearing up the Ontario Hockey League this season, scoring 17 goals and 63 points in just 29 games.

Alzner has been gathering the same type of attention in the Western Hockey League, with five goals and 28 points in 33 games with the Hitmen.

Both are highly regarded as Top 10 prospects for the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Other cuts from the final roster were made on Thursday.

Goaltender Trevor Cann of the Peterborough Petes, Guelph defenceman Drew Doughty, blueliner Keaton Ellerby of the Kamloops Blazers, Saginaw defenceman Patrick McNeill, Brandon Wheat Kings forward Codey Burki, centre Ben Maxwell of the Kootenay Ice, Acadie-Bathurst's Mathieu Perreault, Prince George winger Devin Setoguchi and Chris Stewart of the Kingston Frontenacs were all sent home.

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