Kraken’s Ryan Winterton leads his team to the major junior memorial cup

Ryan Winterton’s hockey career has had more downs than ups, the last thing he needs is more downtime.

After spending a huge part of the last two years sidelined, Winterton has come back strong and has set the coordinates of the career back on track by leading the Hamilton Bulldogs to the Ontario Hockey championship and a semi final slot to face Shawinigan in the Memorial cup happening currently at Saint John, New Brunswick.

The Kraken Prospect has spent the midweek break in the tournament watching whales and eating crab with his team members. His first trip to Atlantic Canada was quite helpful though short. It was a much needed rest from what has turned out to be a very long comeback season.

Winterton has benefited from the short tournament break

 “It’s been cool,” Winterton, who is a native of Whitby, Ontario, said in a short interview last week.

“Where our hotel’s located is kind of out of town, so we went out in town today to the water, and yesterday we went whale watching. It’s cool to get out and experience nature and all that it has to offer.”

The 18-year-old has had very little time to play around and have fun since 2020 as he struggled with the shutdown of the league due to multiple COVID cases plus an annoying shoulder injury he suffered just before he was to attend his team’s training camp last year.

Even with the uncertainty surrounding his future, the young lad went back to the Bulldogs early this year and is now competing for the major junior hockey’s grand trophy.

“I think the two years off from juniors kind of helped me to get my priorities straight,” said Winterton, who tumbled somewhat unexpectedly into the Kraken’s hands last summer as a third-round draft pick (67th overall selection).

“I kind of dialed in real hard through COVID and really just fell in love with the game”, the 18-year-old added.

The events of the past couple of years made the youngster start doubting his hockey ability. However, with his recent rise in game time and training camps, attendance has somewhat brought back his love for the game.

“You realize how much you miss a game when you get taken away from it for two years,” Winterton said. “You kind of appreciate the little things” , concluded the teenager.

Lucas Raymond’s World Juniors Hopes Vetoed by Red Wings

Lucas Raymond of the Detroit Red Wings was anticipating his involvement in the IIHF World Junior Championship in August. Reports in Sweden also state that the coach Tom Monten was set to add him to his team’s roster.

However, the coach of team Sweden, Monten stated that the Red Wings were responsible in keeping Raymond from joining the team. Alexander Holtz of the New Jersey Devils might also be ruled out of the tournament due to his team’s refusal to release him.

Tomas Monten who is disappointed with the resistance from the NHL teams said in an interview that the timing of the tournament is the main reason.

“I have had an ongoing dialogue with them but unfortunately Lucas and Alex will not play,” Monten said in an interview with Swedish website

“Detroit and New Jersey think the tournament is wrong in time to be optimal in their recharge”, Monten added.

At the beginning of the summer, Lucas Raymond hoped to be a part of the team before the announcement of the roster.

“If the chance comes, you always want to represent Sweden regardless of the environment,” Raymond stated in an interview with Swedish TV network SVT. “But I do not know how it works with rules and what is allowed or not. But of course I would like to play if the chance comes.” 

Although the Detroit Red Wings Forward was eligible for the tournament, his club denied him the opportunity to play. He featured in both the 2020 and the 2021 edition of the tournament and got 4-5-9 totals in 12 matches.

Raymond has settled in well at the Red Wings and become a senior member of the squad

The Swede has established himself as one of the best players in the NHL. He has been able to garner 23 goals and hit 57 points in 82 games for the Red Wings as a rookie, he also placed fourth in the Calder trophy ranking.

No doubt that he would have been immense for Sweden in the tournament. But you could also see the perspective of the Red Wings in denying him the chance to represent his country at the World Junior championship. They will be looking at how much they will miss him if he leaves and that the tournament will in no way help him grow his game or challenge him.

Will Kaiden Guhle play at the World Junior Championship in August 2022?

Montreal Canadien man Kaiden Guhle was bound to be captain at the 2022 World Junior Championship held at Edmonton. However, the tournament was called off two games in, due to rampant cases of COVID.

Initially, there was some uncertainty if the tournament would even hold at all, or if it would continue from where it stopped if it was shifted to a later date. After much speculation, the officials decided that the tournament should start afresh, hereby rendering games played earlier void and null. It seemed harsh to those who were in a good stead when the cancellation announcement was made.

The organizers of the event then came up with a plan to make up for the canceled tournament that is usually held during the holidays. This will probably be the first World Junior championship you will enjoy in flip flops rather than thick woolen sweaters.

The tournament is billed to commence from the 9th of August and end on the 20th of the same month. All fixtures will also be played at Rogers place, Edmonton, Alberta.

Though the competition is taking place eight months after it was postponed, the age requirements are unchanged. For a player to be able to participate in the competition, he must have been at most 19 years of age on the 31st of December 2021. 

Team Canada is yet to announce their roster

Some participating countries at the tournament have announced their evaluation camps for next month due to the new schedule.

This includes the U.S who have called up Blake Bondi to their party. The Canadians have been discreet with their squad so far, but Darren Dreger was quoted to have said that they plan on keeping the same team from the canceled tournament.

He further added that it is up to the players to decide if they wish to remain in the team or decline the invitation. A player we suspect might decide not to participate is Kaiden Guhle.

The Montreal Canadian prospect barely played a game last season due to a series of injury setbacks and COVID issues, but has been on fire this season.

He has barely had a rest this season and adding the World Junior championship might be too much for the young lad.Though the player has been involved in some of the exhibition matches and has taken part in the last two evaluation and development camps, he might have to consider putting his career first.

This new NHL season is poised to be his first full season, and him going to the World Juniors could hinder his chances of nailing a starting berth. Hardly a proper way to launch your NHL career. If he decides to sit this one out, we can’t really complain or can we?

Capitals’ Oskar Magnusson Makes the Cut for the Swedish Team ahead of the World Junior Championship

The Swedish team have announced their squad to take part in the upcoming World Junior Championship. 

Though the tournament was initially postponed indefinitely due to the impact of COVID on the host nation Canada and many other teams. The organizers have pegged August 9-20 as the return dates for the event.

Young Prodigy Oskar Magnusson who was selected by team Sweden at the postponed event last year has been selected again for the rescheduled tournament.

The 20 year old player was selected by his club in the seventh round pick of the NHL total draft. The Capitals got the pick by relinquishing this year’s pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Magnusson was on target for his country last November

Magnusson, who was born on the 31st of January 2002 has put up some impressive performances for his teams when he has been called upon. The Swede was last called up by his country in November last year for the four nations tournament, and he definitely did not disappoint. On the 14th of November the prodigy scored one of the goals to take the game to 4-2 and contributed a huge quota in Sweden beating Russia by 5 goals to 2.

In total, the Capitals prospect played all of Sweden’s games at the tournament and scored a crucial goal and above all, he proved himself as a quality player. The call up for the world Junior championship is well deserved because he has made a case for himself 

Though the Swede got himself a handful of points while playing for the Malmo U20 side, he never really got an opportunity to display his ability in the Swedish Hockey League, and that prompted the 20 year old to make a much needed move to AIK in search of more game time.

“I thought that this would be good for my development and it has turned out that it has been the best choice at the time for my career” the Swede reflected on an interview with hockeysveirege.

UND’s Brent Johnson, Jackson Blake and Owen McLaughlin all eyed by the World Juniors US Hockey

The US hockey federation is on the lookout for players and if reports are to be believed, they have set their sights on players from the UND. Some of the UND players will be on their way to Plymouth, Michigan, this summer, to prove to the US hockey officials that they deserve to be on the team.

Young and rookie cowards Jackson Blake and Owen McLaughlin with defenseman Brent Johnson have been picked to play in the National Junior Evaluation camp, which runs from the 24th of July to the 3rd of August at the hockey arena.

Youngsters given chance to shine

These young stars will be looking to give the performance of their lives at the event so they will increase their chances of making the World Junior team for the big tournament coming up in December. The event will be played in Halifax and Moncton, Canada.

Also part of the team that will participate in the evaluation camp is the solid defenseman Tyler Kleven. He will also be participating in the World Junior championship that is billed to run later this year and will be held in Edmonton, Canada. The tournament which was meant to be held last year had to be shifted to this year due to rampant COVID cases in Canada.

Key players like Sanderson will be absent

For the purpose of continuity and unity, USA hockey hopes to be able to put the same or almost the same team that competed at the tournament last winter; though they will be missing key players like Sanderson and Beniers.

Elsewhere, defenseman Kleven has already experienced the ecstasy of victory because he was part of the winning team last year. He will be hoping to build on that achievement and join Jonathan Toews as the only under 21 players to have two gold titles in the competition.