The run-up to the World Junior Hockey Championships are always a time filled with excitement and intrigue. Two Calgary Flames prospects will be part of that run-up, as they have been named to one of the three Canadian Hockey League teams that will face off against an under-20 team from Russian next month as part of the annual CHL Canada-Russia Series.
2015 pick Andrew Mangiapane will play for the Ontario Hockey League team on November 12 in Owen Sound. 2014 pick Mason McDonald will dress as a netminder for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team on November 17 in Rouyn-Noranda and November 19 in Halifax, though he’ll probably only play in one of those games.
Traditionally, the Canada-Russia series is used to help select players to attend Hockey Canada’s selection camp in early December.
Mangiapane was drafted by the Flames in the sixth round of this past NHL Draft, despite putting up 104 points in 68 games with the Barrie Colts. He’s already amassed 9 points in 9 games with the Colts this season. He was not invited to Hockey Canada’s Summer Showcase this past August and likely remains a long-shot to make the Canadian World Junior team, but his inclusion in this event shows he’s at least on the radar.
McDonald was the Flames second round selection in the 2014 NHL Draft. He’s been the starter for the Charlottetown Islanders since last season. He’s posted decent but not spectacular numbers, though his save percentage was among the best in the QMJHL last season – it’s not a league known for great defensive play. McDonald was at Hockey Canada’s Summer Showcase, and is projected by many hockey pundits as being a strong candidate to not only make the World Junior team, but to potentially be their number-one goalie.
The CHL Canada-Russia Series runs November 9-19 across this great country of ours. The World Junior Hockey Championship goes December 26, 2015 to January 5, 2016 in Helsinki, Finland.