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Canadian junior hockey team capsules

12/22/2011 10:13 EST | Updated 02/21/2012 05:12 EST
A capsule look at the players on Canada's 2012 world junior hockey team, with hometown:

Goaltenders

Mark Visentin, Waterdown, Ont. — Can draw on and grow from the experience of allowing five goals in the third period of last year's final in Buffalo. One of four Niagara IceDogs on the team, he's a butterfly goalie, squares to the puck, moves efficiently in the net, tracks the puck well in traffic.

Scott Wedgewood, Brampton, Ont. — Plymouth Whalers goalie excelled in shootout drills during selection camp. More active in the net than Visentin, but has tightened up his movement in the last year.

Defencemen

Jamie Oleksiak, Toronto — Mobility is just fair, but Saginaw Spirit behemoth makes up for it with size (244 pounds and almost six foot seven), strength and reach.

Brandon Gormley, Murray River, P.E.I. — Moncton Wildcat is an agile skater, keeps the game simple, makes smart first pass out of defensive zone or can skate it out himself.

Dougie Hamilton, Toronto — Plays a lot of minutes with IceDogs, but won't see as many with Canadian team. Big, strong workhorse with a long reach.

Mark Pysyk, Sherwood Park, Alta. — Edmonton Oil Kings defender is the only Alberta-born player on the team. He's a stay-at-home defenceman who doesn't make mistakes.

Scott Harrington, Kingston, Ont. — London Knight is another stay-at-home defender who can kill penalties and block shots.

Ryan Murray, White City, Sask. — Youngest on the team plays older than his years. Doesn't panic and plays a complete game for the Everett Silvertips. His name will be called early in the 2012 NHL entry draft.

Nathan Beaulieu, Strathroy, Ont. — Puck-moving skills make him quarterback of the power play. Hard shot. Won a Memorial Cup with Saint John Sea Dogs last season.

Forwards

Jaden Schwartz, Wilcox, Sask. — Mature leader out of Colorado College plays bigger than five foot nine, 190 pounds. Moves quickly in and out of traffic to create scoring chances.

Michael Bournival, Shawinigan, Que. — Faceoff specialist, penalty killer, defensive forward make him a good fit for Canada's third forward line. Plays for his hometown Cataractes.

Jonathan Huberdeau, St-Jerome, Que. — Sea Dogs winger is difficult to contain because his size and his skating and scoring abilities. Didn't play for over a month because of a broken bone in his foot. Canada needs the Memorial Cup MVP to get his game back quickly.

Brendan Gallagher, Tsawwassen, B.C., — Fast, furious and fearless winger will be an annoyance to the opposition. Plays for Canadian team head coach Don Hay with the Vancouver Giants.

Freddie Hamilton, Toronto — Brother and IceDogs teammate of Dougie is a utility player who excels in all roles. Can play centre or wing, strong in the faceoff circle.

Brett Connolly, Prince George, B.C. — One of two NHL players on the team and one of four returning from the previous Canadian team. Tampa Bay Lightning winter is expected to be a leader on and off the ice, as well as use his strength and skating ability to create scoring chances and punish the opposition.

Tanner Pearson, Kitchener, Ont. — The surprise player on the team because he wasn't on Hockey Canada's radar until October. His OHL-leading numbers for the Barrie Colts couldn't be ignored, however. Comes out of the battles in the corners with the puck and gets shots away quickly.

Mark Stone, Winnipeg — Like Huberdeau, another powerful, hard winger who creates space and can score. Brandon Wheat King leads Western Hockey League scoring race at a two-points-per-game clip.

Ryan Strome, Mississauga, Ont. — Centre has gifted hands, makes the most of extra room on the power play, can hit the gas quickly when he skates. New York Islanders didn't return him to Niagara IceDogs until the middle of October

Mark Scheifele, Kitchener, Ont. — Wants to be Canada's No. 1 centre and should be. Intelligent, skilled, also has a second skating gear. Got seven NHL games under his belt with the Winnipeg Jets before returning to the Barrie Colts.

Boone Jenner, Dorchester, Ont. — Big, strong forward would give Canada's checking line muscle, but the Oshawa General has a quick release that fools goalies too.

Quinton Howden, Oak Bank, Man. — Veteran of the previous junior hockey team came out of selection camp with concussion-like symptoms. Moose Jaw Warriors winger beats opposing players with speed and work ethic, digs hard in the corners and gets to the front of the net to create havoc.

Devante Smith-Pelly, Toronto — Anaheim Ducks winger is a difference-maker for Canada. Punishes opposing players with power, size and speed, opens up space for linemates and makes any line he plays on better.

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