Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Not Getting Invited To The Good Parties

Got to love the Canadians as not even New York Ranger fans can find as many reasons to argue about hockey like our friends to the north do. Now that the invitations to attend Team Canada's selection camp have been made there are so many arguments as to who is worthy and who is not.

For us other than the rather silly omission by Hockey Canada of NCAA teams (covered so well by our heroes at Buzzing The Net), it is very hard to argue with the selections whether you are a New York Ranger or New York Islander fan.

Still if you judge a prospect by whether or not he earned an invite then sorry you are using false logic. Politics, personal likes and dislikes as well as other considerations factor into who gets an invite and who does not.

The Invited

Casey Cizikas (NYI 2009 4th) is not an overnight wonder and his invitation was very well deserved. If you had seen Cizikas from the summer evaluation camp then you knew this was coming.

No prospect whether they be Ranger or Islander has been as consistent at both ends of the ice every game as the captain of the Mississauga St Michael's Majors has. From his 13-17-30 scoring to his +19, it is hard not to like the efforts of Cizikas night in and night out.

Cizikas is not the biggest guy on the ice but we just love his work ethic out there. We see Cizikas as going to make Team Canada for his penalty killing skills more than anything else.

Calvin De Haan (2009 1st) was another no-brainer as here is the expected Captain of Team Canada. De Haan is one of 3 returning players for Canada and that is going to be huge as Canada is going to be a very inexperienced team this year.

All 12 forwards as well as how many goalies that Canada carries will be making their first appearance in the Under-20 Championships. De Haan having been on young and inexperienced teams with Oshawa is going to be a difference maker as he helps lead Canada.

De Haan is a strong 2 way defenseman who plays better when under pressure and Canada is going to need everything that De Haan can bring to the table. While most people are looking forward to seeing Canada against the USA or Russia, for us it will be De Haan going up against Nino Niederreiter in a battle of future teammates.

De Haan is going to have to be at his best on offense and defense if Canada hopes earn a 13th straight medal.

The Uninvited

Right off the back the very first thing that has to be said is that just because a prospect was not invited means they are a bad prospect or is this a career breaker. If you hold not being invited against the prospect then sorry you are 100% in the wrong as while it is an honor to represent your country; it is does not define their career.

8 other NHL teams did not prospects invited so does that mean their prospects are bad? On the other hand the Buffalo Sabres had 4 prospects invited so should we assume that they have the best prospects since no other team had as many of their prospects invited.

Dylan McIlrath and Christian Thomas will see their turn come next year, Ethan Werek we are sorry deserved an invite did not get it and we hope he turns that snub into motivation just like a 2004 2nd round pick named Brandon Dubinsky did. But if it does not mean a thing about the NHL potential that they did not get invited.

In fact we could produce a nice long list of Ranger prospects who have won gold medals and never turned into NHL regulars.

Other Countries

Sweden is suppose to announce their roster on Thursday while Team USA announced that they will make their invites known on December 7th.

(Images: Aaron Bell and Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

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