3 Under the Radar Names to Watch for on Team Canada at This Year’s World Juniors

Seattle Thunderbirds Defenseman Kevin Korchinski Skating to Retrieve Puck
Seattle Thunderbirds Defenseman Kevin Korchinski Skating to Retrieve Puck Photo credit: Christopher Mast/Getty Images

With a Team Canada roster that features the names of Shane Wright, Brandt Clarke, and generational prospect Connor Bedard! It’s easy to overlook some of the names on the roster. As a tournament favorite, Team Canada certainly isn’t lacking any talent. Even at the deep ends of the roster, the twenty-two names selected are all talented and should have a bright future in the sport of hockey. However, with the roster finally being announced, why not take a look at three under-the-radar names to watch for on Team Canada’s Roster? Obviously, in a tournament like this, an opportunity usually dictates success. However, if these names get in some routine action, don’t be surprised if they become some of your favorite prospects! 

1. Kevin Korchinski, Defenseman, Seattle Thunderbirds

Let’s start with the first name I have penciled in. Seattle Thunderbirds defenseman Kevin Korchinski is at the top of my list for my under-the-radar names to watch for on Team Canada’s roster at this year’s tournament. The Chicago Blackhawks draft selection is an electric offensive defenseman with a real eye for the game. The 18-year-old prospect strives when it comes to breakouts and is already a top class playmaker in the offensive zone. According to EliteProspects.com, Kevin Korchinski enters the tournament on pace for 83 points in 62 games with Seattle in the WHL. Important to note that 74 of those 83 projected points are assists. Korchinski is a prospect that isn’t afraid to take defenders on and does well-opening space while in the offensive zone for his teammates. A real skill that should work well for this Team Canada roster at this year’s tournament. Korchinski was one of my favorite prospects at the Draft last June. I surely expect him to make some noise at this year’s tournament. 

2. Zach Dean, Forward, Gatineau Olympiques

The second name I have penciled in is Team Canada forward Zach Dean. The 19-year-old is a speed-driven forward who plays at a high pace and isn’t afraid to create offense. Dean is the type of prospect who isn’t afraid to drive his play through the middle of the ice, using his speed and awareness. The Gatineau forward is currently projected to have 40 goals and 42 assists for 82 points this year in the QMJHL. Zach was a 1st-Round pick in the 2022 NHL entry draft, going 30th overall to the Vegas Golden Knights. My favorite aspect of Dean’s play is how fast his hands can work while having possession of the puck! Being able to match the speed of his own stride when in possession is a unique skill that should translate well for Team Canada. It will be interesting to see how Dean works into Canada’s lineup. If given the shot, he surely should impress. 

3. Joshua Roy, Forward, Sherbrooke Phoenix

The third name I have penciled in is forward Joshua Roy from the Sherbrooke Phoenix! Joshua Roy is a dynamic goal scoring prospect who beats goaltenders with his shot. The 19-year-old forward has an impressive release along with his shot setup. Joshua isn’t one to drive his own play by himself but is strong in exploiting the opportunities defenders give him. Last season with the Phoenix, Joshua had 51 goals and 68 assists for 119 points. A dynamic player on the power play that should bring a lot of offense to an already stacked Team Canada lineup. Roy was selected in the 5th Round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, going exactly at pick 150th overall to the Montreal Canadiens. As of now, the pick is looking like a good one for Montreal. Joshua’s awareness and decision-making have improved season after season, and he should have a bright hockey career if he can perfect his stride.

As we conclude the list of my three under-the-radar names to watch for on Team Canada’s roster, it’s obvious this team isn’t lacking any talent, especially in the offensive zone. However, the names listed will still have to compete for opportunities on a loaded Team Canada squad. Early lineup combinations have Korchinski running the second power-play unit, with Dean and Roy being linemates on the third line. This year’s tournament features a wide range of skills across multiple teams, making this tournament one of the most I’m looking forward to in a long time.

Joshua Anselmo

A hockey mind that's always looking at new and insightful ways to bring different perspectives of the game we all love.

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