Top 10: Meet This Year’s Canadian World Junior Team (with VIDEO)

Joe Hicketts. Fred Gauthier. Shea Theodore. Zach Fucale. Eric Comrie. Nic Petan. Jake Virtanen. Sam Reinhart. Josh Morrissey. Madison Bowey.

Curtis Lazar will captain Canada's national under-20 team at this year's World Junior Hockey Championship in Toronto and Montreal.

Curtis Lazar will captain Canada's national under-20 team at this year's World Junior Hockey Championship in Toronto and Montreal.

You know about Connor McDavid. You know about Curtis Lazar. And after last night, you probably know a little about Max Domi and Anthony Duclair, too.

But here’s a rundown on the rest of Canada’s roster, two days before their Boxing Day battle with Slovakia – the opener to this year’s World Junior Hockey Championship, split-hosted by Toronto and Montreal.

Joe Hicketts

Defenceman, Victoria Royals

NHL Team: Detroit Red Wings (Undrafted Free Agent)

Hicketts, a native of Kamloops, B.C., becomes yet another gem plucked from out of nowhere by the Red Wings, and he’s the first-ever Royals player to make Canada’s world junior team.

“It has been a dream of mine, and now I’m one step closer,” Hicketts told Cleve Dheenshaw of the Alberni Valley-Times on Monday. “I believe we have the roster that will be able to win the gold. We have a big, physical, fast team.”

Frederik Gauthier

Centre, Rimouski Oceanic

NHL Team: Toronto Maple Leafs (1st Round, 2013)

Two-way. 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds. He was on Canada’s junior team last year, and he’ll be counted on to hog tough minutes and dominate the faceoff circle, when duty calls.

Although he was drafted two summers ago now, Gauthier is still an unknown to most people – even for Leafs fans, who had a much higher-profile first-round selection in 2014 with William Nylander, taken eighth overall.

Gauthier’s also a bit of a Bo Horvat-type, apparently.

“He’s strong on the cycle, skates well and uses his size to win battles,” Hockey’s Future writes of Gauthier. “Though he may never be a top offensive threat, he has too many tools to ignore.”

Shea Theodore

Defenceman, Seattle Thunderbirds

NHL Team: Anaheim Ducks (1st Round, 2013)

A native of Aldergrove, B.C., Theodore’s lanky and mobile – he’s a prototypically Anaheim-ish prospect, too. He can move the puck with speed, quarterback a powerplay, and is renowned for his offensive ability.

It should be fun to watch Theodore tilt the ice in Canada’s favour, much like his similarly built predecessors (Dion Phaneuf, Luc Bourdon, Marc Staal) did for their teams.

Zachary Fucale

Goaltender, Halifax Mooseheads

NHL Team: Montreal Canadiens (2nd Round, 2013)

Pretty simple here – Fucale’s the man in Canada’s net and, after last year’s tumble from the podium, he has as much motivation to win as any player on the team.

Eric Comrie

Goaltender, Tri-City Americans

NHL Team: Winnipeg Jets (2nd Round, 2013)

Comrie’s in his fourth season in the WHL – he’s “a workhorse” and “a durable goalie with the size and athleticism of a prototypical NHL goaltender” (according to Hockey’s Future).

Nic Petan

Centre, Portland Winterhawks

NHL Team: Winnipeg Jets (2nd Round, 2013)

The Delta, B.C. product has yet to flash his fancy hands at the NHL level, but Petan will be a major contributor for Team Canada if it hopes to hang gold over its neck.

Petan finished second overall in the WHL’s points race last year – 35 goals, 78 assists – and is an offensive wizard on an offensively overwhelming Winterhawks team. His size – 5’9, 172 pounds – has no doubt put a question mark on his future as a first-line NHLer, but the talent’s there and (like Domi) his game is built for the World Juniors.

Jake Virtanen

Winger, Calgary Hitmen

NHL Team: Vancouver Canucks (1st Round, 2014)

The B.C. kid, in a couple of ways. Not only is he from Abbotsford but he was selected sixth overall by his hometown team, the Canucks, a few months ago – a lofty accomplishment for the Iginla-ish Virtanen, who was taken ahead of other prized prospects like Haydn Fleury, Nick Ritchie, Nikolaj Ehlers, and William Nylander.

Virtanen got on the board in Canada’s 6-0 dropkick of Switzerland on Tuesday, the team’s third and final pre-tournament game, and should expect to play both offensive minutes and serve a checking role on a talent-rich Canadian team.

Sam Reinhart

Centre, Kootenay Ice

NHL Team: Buffalo Sabres (1st Round, 2014)

Brian Burke called him “Einstein on the ice”.

‘Nuff said.

Josh Morrissey

Defenceman, Kelowna Rockets

NHL Team: Winnipeg Jets (1st Round, 2013)

A slick skater and one of two top Kelowna blueliners on Team Canada this year, Morrissey might be the national team’s best, most relied-upon defenceman in the next two weeks.

He’s not necessarily large – 6’0, 183 pounds – but size has never hurt anyone in the World Juniors, and Morrissey can flat-out skate and move the puck. He’s an asset not just for goalies Fuchale and Comrie, but for Canada’s offensive weapons like McDavid, Domi, Duclair, and Reinhart, who will be looking for someone to start a rush or quarterback a key possession.

Madison Bowey

Defenceman, Kelowna Rockets

NHL Team: Washington Capitals (2nd Round, 2013)

Bowey didn’t make the national team last year, but the Winnipeg product is a big, rough customer with offensive ability.

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