On Monday, a trio of Montreal prospects were given invites to Team Canada’s World Junior training camp in preparation for next month’s tournament. Michael Bournival and Brendan Gallagher, who both participated in last year’s camp, were both invited as was the Habs’ 1st rounder back in June, Nathan Beaulieu.
Gallagher, who impressed everyone in training camp, is off to another hot start with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants this season. He is scoring at close to a goal-per-game pace (19 in 23 games) while adding 18 assists along the way to lead his team in scoring. His coach with the Giants, Don Hay, is Canada’s coach this year.
Bournival, the last forward cut from last year’s squad, has done everything he can to improve his chances of surviving this season. Not only is his defensive game strong, his offensive output has improved. In 12 games this year (he was injured for half the season thus far), he has 12 goals and 6 helpers while winning over 58% of his faceoffs.
Beaulieu, an invite to Canada’s summer camp, hasn’t hurt his chances either. He leads his team in points by a defenceman with 23 (7-16) in 26 games with an impressive +18 rating. His 49 PIMS also sit him second on the Sea Dogs of the QMJHL. Despite his early season successes, the early indications are that he is a bit more of a longshot to make the team than the two forwards.
These prospects likely won’t be the only ones trying out for their countries’ junior teams. 2010 draft picks Jarred Tinordi (USA) and John Westin (SWE) both have one last chance to play in this tournament while 2011 pick Daniel Pribyl (CZE) has a good chance to play after having a good start to his season.