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‘Unfinished enterprise’: Canada opens world junior camp with Wright again within the fold

‘Unfinished enterprise’: Canada opens world junior camp with Wright again within the fold

Shane Wright has some unfastened ends to tie up on the world juniors.

The identical goes for Dylan Guenther.

And Brandt Clarke, Effectively, he’s nonetheless trying to get a primary style.

Canada’s under-20 males’s nationwide workforce received an enormous enhance when the gifted trio have been loaned to this system by their NHL golf equipment earlier this week forward of choice camp.

Wright, Guenther and Clarke joined an inventory of star-studded expertise that already included Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli because the Canadians kicked off preparations for the 2023 world junior hockey championship, which begins Dec. 26 in Halifax and Moncton.

Learn extra:

Pats’ Bedard relishing alternative for return to IIHF World Junior Championship

“Positively some unfinished enterprise,” Wright, who was chosen No. 4 by the Seattle Kraken ultimately summer time’s NHL draft, mentioned following Friday’s first on-ice session at Avenir Centre. “Good to be again. I need to be right here.

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“I need to be a part of this workforce that wins a gold medal.”

Granted distinctive standing to play within the Ontario Hockey League at age 15, the ahead from Burlington, Ont., was minimize from Canada’s 2021 world junior workforce as a 16-year-old.

He made final yr’s squad and performed within the nation’s two video games earlier than the event in Edmonton and Pink Deer, Alta., was referred to as off due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

The 2022 occasion was revived in the summertime — Canada received its nineteenth gold medal — however Wright skipped the occasion at Seattle’s request as he ready for his first skilled season.

“Elite hockey participant,” Canadian head coach Dennis Williams mentioned. “Only a actual professional. It’s nice to speak with him.

“He’s gonna deliver loads of his expertise and do an excellent job along with his management.”

Learn extra:

Hockey Canada says 85% of tickets bought for world juniors in Halifax, Moncton

Guenther additionally made the unique 2022 world junior workforce right now final yr, however didn’t play in August because of damage. The 19-year-old ahead has three targets and 11 factors in 24 video games this season for the Arizona Coyotes, who picked the Edmonton native ninth general in 2021.

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“Talent, measurement, pace, composure with the puck,” Williams mentioned. “Has the flexibility to decelerate a sport — only a actual difference-maker.”

“It’s superior,” Guenther mentioned of getting one other crack at world junior glory. “Each child needs to play and each child needs to win.

“The primary actual world juniors shortly. We’re excited for that. We have now an excellent alternative forward of us.”

Clarke was a shock omission from Canada’s authentic 2022 workforce and wasn’t invited in August, however the defenceman used these snubs as gasoline to make the Los Angeles Kings.

Chosen one spot forward of Guenther on the 2021 draft, the 19-year-old Ottawa native has two assists in 9 NHL video games in a rookie marketing campaign that’s additionally seen him play 5 occasions within the AHL.

Click to play video: 'Moncton prepares for World Juniors tournament'

Moncton prepares for World Juniors event

“Irritating,” Clarke mentioned of his earlier world junior misses. “I assumed I may have been one of many prime gamers final Christmas (and) in the summertime. It simply didn’t play out that approach — wasn’t the best way they wished to go. I took that in stride. I made a decision I need to make an NHL workforce out of (coaching) camp, I need to make the Kings, and that’s what I did. Now it comes full circle.

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“I received to try this, and I get to do that.”

Williams mentioned the presence of three NHLers in a gaggle that features Bedard, who as issues stand is the slam-dunk No. 1 choose on the 2023 draft, and Fantilli, who may go No. 2, was noticeable Friday.

“They have been stopping on pucks, their execution was sturdy,” mentioned Williams, who together with Canada’s administration workforce will minimize a roster of 32 to 22 on Monday. “What they don’t notice is how they have been main on the market by instance. Plenty of guys have been following them and watching them.

“It’s an actual optimistic for our program.”

The presumptive prime choice ultimately July’s draft, Wright fell to Seattle after being handed over by the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils and Arizona Coyotes.

Learn extra:

Halifax bars anticipating large crowds forward of World Juniors

Since then, Wright has endured a stop-start opening three months to his professional profession.

“A lot completely different particular person,” he mentioned trying again at how he’s grown over the past 12 months. “I’ve gone by way of so much.

“A little bit little bit of adversity at occasions and making an attempt to determine my approach right here this yr.”

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The 18-year-old has performed simply eight video games with the Kraken, however scored his first NHL purpose _ coincidentally in opposition to Montreal _ earlier this week earlier than heading to the Maritimes.

“Felt unbelievable,” he mentioned of his first NHL purpose. “A little bit of a reduction as properly lastly getting that first one. Fairly loopy feeling, don’t actually bear in mind a lot from the celebration.

“It was a fairly cool second, undoubtedly one thing to recollect the remainder of my life.”

He’s hoping for one more that ends with a gold medal round his neck.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Dec. 9, 2022.

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