To nobody’s surprise, Jonathan Huberdeau has been invited to Canada’s national junior team selection camp. The camp begins next Tuesday, December 11 in Calgary.
“The Florida Panthers’ top prospect is a lock to represent Canada in Russia after playing a prominent role on last year’s squad,” writes Sportsnet’s Patrick King in his latest world junior power rankings.
Huberdeau was one of the top scorers for Team Canada at last year’s world juniors and at this summer’s Canada-Russia Challenge. He should be one of Canada’s top players again this year.
The Sea Dogs captain leads Saint John in scoring with 43 points in 28 games. He is second in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in assists with 28 and is tied for the league lead in power play helpers with 16.
The thing is, today’s announcement means that this weekend’s games at Harbour Station will very likely be Huberdeau’s last in a Sea Dogs jersey. The Dogs host the Quebec Remparts on Saturday night and the Halifax Mooseheads on Sunday afternoon in one of the biggest weekends of the season.
Selection camp begins next Tuesday, and assuming Canada makes it to the bronze or gold medal game, he’ll be in Russia until January 5. The QMJHL trade deadline ends on January 8 where it is very likely Huberdeau will be traded to a team making a President Cup run this season.
It always sucks seeing a great player like Huberdeau traded. But that’s just the way it goes in junior hockey, and it is something this team has done before and it paid off in a huge way. Hopefully this fan base realises that. And hopefully this fan base gives Huberdeau a great send off this weekend.
Anyways, other QMJHL players who will have the opportunity to try and make Team Canada: Xavier Ouellet (Blainville-Boisbriand), Francis Beauvillier (Rimouski), Phillip Danault (Victoriaville), Jonathan Drouin (Halifax), Charles Hudon (Chicoutimi), and Nathan MacKinnon (Halifax).
The full roster can be seen HERE.
Team Canada plays their first game of the tournament against Germany on Boxing Day.