Although they aren’t exactly favorites to make the team, a pair of Calgary Flames prospects survived first cuts at Team Canada’s World Junior team selection camp on Wednesday evening.
Despite five guys getting cut from the Team Canada preliminary roster – leaving 31 bodies in camp – goaltender Laurent Brossoit of the Edmonton Oil Kings and defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon of the Portland Winterhawks have survived.
Brossoit is one of four goaltenders in camp. He allowed one goal on 18 shots in half of the inter-squad game on Tuesday night and one goal on 19 shots in net for the University of Alberta team in half of their game with Canada on Wednesday afternoon. Brossoit is notoriously streaky, but he’s been quite calm, cool and collected in net this week. He struggled in the shootout on Tuesday, though.
Brossoit is fighting for one of three roster spots (the third-stringer won’t play and will be with the team as an emergency replacement) with Malcolm Subban, Jordan Binnington and Jake Paterson. Subban has arguably been the worst netminder of the foursome and his performance this week may give Brossoit – the only other guy with big-game experience in camp – an edge for one of the spots.
Wotherspoon remains as one of 10 defenders in camp. He’s likely fighting for one of two available roster spots. He was fairly strong in both of his games this week, but didn’t really jump into the play much. He also wasn’t really burned on any plays, except for a fairly silly neutral-zone penalty in the inter-squad game. Wotherspoon doesn’t play a particularly showy game, relying on smart positioning and reading the play to make up for a bit of a lack of foot-speed, but he’s looked like one of the better blueliners in camp so far (along with Frank Corrado).
Eight more bodies are expected to be cut on Thursday – likely a goaltender, three defensemen and five forwards. Team Canada practices in Calgary on Saturday before heading to Finland for pre-tournament games. The World Juniors begin on Boxing Day.