Jaroslav Halak and Christopher Heino-Lindberg have been named to their respective U-20 World Junior teams, the second year in a row for Halak and the first appearance for Heino-Lindberg. Halak stands a good chance to once again be the starter for Team Slovakia, and fans in Canada should get to see him in nets when Team Canada takes on Team Slovakia. As for Heino-Lindberg, he could be the teams starter, as he is having an outstanding season with Hammarby of the tier-2 league, where he’s one of the top goalies in the mens league. Fans in Canada will hopefully be able to see Heino-Lindberg when Team Canada takes on Team Sweden.
It’s up to Habs management to decide whether or not Andrei Kostitsyn will also be in attendance, as he will be sorely needed by Team Belarus, but it’s unclear what position Bob Gainey will take, if he will let Kostitsyn play for Team Belarus, or continue to be under the watchful eye of coach Jarvis playing against men. For the fans, it would be great fun to see Kostitsyn play for his home country, as he’s been very good in international play, and he was a major part of the reason why Belarus will be playing in the top division in the tournament.
Then there’s Alexei Yemelin, who has been invited to the selection camp for Team Russia, along with eight other defensemen. While it won’t be easy for him to make the team, being only 18 years old, he still stands a chance as he was on the top pairing at the U-20 5-Nations tournament and was a standout at the U-18’s for Team Russia as well.
Sadly we will never know if Kyle Chipchura would have made Team Canada, but he was all but a lock to get an invite to the selection camp, as he was having a great season and is the exact kind of player coach Brent Sutter likes to see on the ice.