ST. CATHARINES, Ont. — The desire Canada’s junior hockey players have to represent their country at the world championships was all over Kole Lind’s face minutes after he learned he’d been cut from the team.
Lind fought back tears as he spoke with media on Thursday evening in the lobby of the team’s hotel. He was one of six players Hockey Canada cut from its world junior championship selection camp roster, reducing the team from 33 to 27.
“It’s obviously heartbreaking for me,” said Lind, a second-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks in last summer’s NHL draft. “It’s something that’s out of my control. I think I did what I could. I played pretty well.
“I think there are some things I can take away from this both good and bad.”
Lind, Cody Glass and Jonathan Ang were the forwards sent back to their junior teams, as were defencemen Dennis Cholowski and Logan Stanley and goalie Samuel Harvey.
“I’m dealing with it well,” said Harvey, whose impressive play for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies this season earned him an invitation to the selection camp. “It was a tough decision, the coaches told me. I did well, I think, and it was a good experience and I want to thank Hockey Canada for that.”
Harvey, who went undrafted in the 2017 NHL draft, had not been invited to Hockey Canada’s Summer Showcase development camp. But his 2.33 goals-against average and .924 save percentage in 25 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League games caught the attention of team lead Joel Bouchard.
Canada plays Denmark on Friday afternoon in an exhibition and will announce its final round of cuts later that day.
Hockey Canada has to cut its roster down to 22 players ahead of the world junior championship that begins on Dec. 26 in Buffalo, N.Y. The final roster will have 13 forwards, seven defencemen and two goalies.
“We need guys that can adapt,” said head coach Dominique Ducharme. “Adapting is sometimes being able to take messages from coaching staff, adjusting to a new team, new teammates. It’s all about adapting and adjusting.”
Seven players are returning from last year’s silver-medal winning team.
Goaltender Carter Hart (Everett), defencemen Jake Bean (Calgary), Kale Clague (Brandon) and Dante Fabbro (Boston University) and forwards Dillon Dube (Kelowna), Michael McLeod (Mississauga) and Taylor Raddysh (Erie) are all back and virtual locks to make the team.
Defenceman Victor Mete, who was loaned to Hockey Canada for the world juniors by the Montreal Canadiens on Monday, is also expected to be on the final roster.