The Calgary Flames had a pretty successful draft last month, adding nine new members of the organization. One of the big litmus tests for a prospect base (or draft class) is the level of representation at the annual World Junior Championship: the annual showcase of under-20 ice hockey players.
How many Flames could be represented at the Christmastime tournament in Montreal and Toronto? Let’s take a look, including roster outlooks from the fabled Magic 8-Ball. (Disclaimer: this year’s event is restricted to players born in 1997 or later.)
MATTHEW TKACHUK (USA)
Tkachuk spent two seasons with the U.S. National Development Program before jumping to the OHL’s London Knights. He’s won medals with the USA Hockey program. He’s both on their radar, and one of the program’s better players. He’s invited to their summer evaluation camp at the end of July.
He only misses out on the World Juniors if he makes the Flames roster this fall, which is a distinct possibility.
Magic 8-Ball Says: Outlook Good
ADAM FOX (USA)
Another U.S. National Development Team product, Fox is also heading to the USA Hockey summer camp. He’s a bit less of a slam dunk, competing for a spot against recent high picks such as Chad Krys, Charlie McAvoy and Ryan Lindgren. He’s part of a big clump of guys that could make it, and his success probably depends on how well he acclimates to playing with Harvard in the fall.
Magic 8-Ball Says: Most Likely
TYLER PARSONS (USA)
One of four goalies invited to the USA Hockey summer camp, Parsons’ Memorial Cup heroics likely carry a lot of cache with the American brass. For what it’s worth, he’s represented the USA before and is the highest-drafted goalie invited. He’s got a good shot at earning a job for the tournament.
Magic 8-Ball Says: You May Rely On It
F DILLON DUBE (CANADA)
Dube’s invited to Canada’s development camp in Toronto and Plymouth, Michigan at the end of the month. He’s going to have to have a good start to the season to get his foot in the door, as there are 23 forwards in camp and 11 left-shooting forwards. Heck, there are a dozen first round picks at Canada’s camp (plus likely 2017 first overall pick Nolan Patrick), so he’ll need to make a big impression.
Magic 8-Ball Says: Outlook Not So Good
F EETU TUULOLA (FINLAND)
Tuulola is headed to North America to play for Everett this season. He’s not on the Finnish roster for the USA Hockey mini-tournament in Lake Placid, but he has represented his country at the U17s, U18s and Hlinkas. The Finns have a few different U20 tournaments during the year, so don’t read too much into his absence from the Lake Placid team.
Magic 8-Ball Says: Ask Again Later
D OLIVER KYLINGTON (SWEDEN)
Kylington likely wasn’t made available by the Flames for Team Sweden last year, as he spent the entire season with the Stockton Heat. He’s good enough, compared to his age group, to represent Sweden. But he’s probably not going to be available (again), and he hasn’t appeared for Sweden in international competition since he was drafted by the Flames.
Magic 8-Ball Says: Don’t Count On It
F LINUS LINDSTROM (SWEDEN)
Another 2016 pick, Lindstrom is also not on his country’s team for the Lake Placid mini-tournament. Like Tuulola, I wouldn’t take that as a death knell for his chances as he, too, has represented Sweden at the U17s, U18s and Hlinkas. That said, Sweden’s forward ranks are usually pretty stacked and he’ll probably need a good start to the season to get on the U20 radar.
Magic 8-Ball Says: Better Not Tell You Now