Skip to main content

Team Canada forward Jonathan Drouin (29) takes out Team USA forward Ryan Hartman, left, into the Canada bench during first period IIHF World Junior Championships hockey action in Ufa, Russia, Dec. 30, 2012. \

Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Fiddle, fiddle, fiddle, fiddle…..

Team Canada head coach Steve Spott couldn't resist – or perhaps better said he couldn't deny.

So extraordinary has been the play, right from the opening of training camp, of 17-year-old Jonathan Drouin of Ste-Agather, Quebec, that hours before the pivotal Canada-Russia game Spott moved the youngster up to the top line.

Story continues below advertisement

The rising star of the Halifax Mooseheads will now play with captain Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Mark Scheifele.

Jonathan Huberdeau, the 19-year-old captain of the Saint John Sea Dogs, will move down a line to play with Ryan Strome and Ty Rattie.

Huberdeau, who also played last year in Calgary when the Canadian juniors had to settle for bronze, has been solid but hardly outstanding in the three games leading into Monday's important match against Russia.

"A couple of changes up front just to see if we can create a different look," said Spott shortly before the game.

"Look," of course, is a euphemism for "scoring punch" – something Canadian junior teams have not been particularly proficient in since Jordan Eberle's heroics in Ottawa brought Canada its last junior gold medal four years ago.

"A little more five-on-five offence," Spott added. "We'll see how it works out."

Drouin, Spott said, "has proven to us that he's capable of playing with players like Ryan and Mark, and we're going to give him the opportunity."

Story continues below advertisement

Scheifele, who also was on last year's team and has already played NHL games with the Winnipeg Jets, says the 17-year-old Drouin has amazed him with his rapid adjustment to the higher level of hockey.

"So skilled, so smart," Scheifele said of his new linemate, "his hands are incredible. He's way ahead of his time."

Spott will have forward Boone Jenner in the lineup for the first time. Jenner had previously been sitting out a suspension given to him back in North America but honoured here by the International Ice Hockey Federation. Jenner will centre Brett Ritchie and Phillip Danault in what will be primarily a checking line.

"A forecheck presence," is how Spott described Jenner's debut. "We want to be an aggressive team. He's hard, he's a strong man, he plays physical, he protects the puck down low."

Spott is also hoping his re-designed second line, with Rattie, one of Canada's best players so far, also getting a promotion, will give them team some "explosive power," as well.

"If not, well, we'll make adjustments during the game."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter