Trail Smoke Eater alumnus Kent Johnson was named to Team Canada’s World Junior team despite missing the prospects camp last week.
Thirty-five players were invited to the prospects camp, which was part of the process in selecting the team for the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship starts on Boxing Day in Red Deer and Edmonton.
Johnson, a Columbus Blue Jackets first round pick, had to go into COVID protocol prior to the selection camp and was unable to join University of Michigan teammate Owen Power for the flight to Calgary.
However, the Port Moody native was considered a lock and a frontline addition for Team Canada’s World Juniors squad, and, following a 14-day quarantine, was to join the team for its camp in Banff this week.
Johnson, 19, is in his sophomore season at the University of Michigan and has four goals and 19 assists in 17 games.
Also missing the camp due to COVID protocol were Anaheim Ducks forward Mason McTavish and Jack Thompson from the Sudbury Wolves. McTavish and Johnson were named to the team, however, Thompson was left off the roster.
“We expect Kent to join us during our pre-competition camp in Banff and we do expect Kent to be part of our national junior team moving forward,” said Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s senior vice-president of hockey operations in a release.
“Unfortunately for Jack, he will not be joining us at camp due to our protocol. He will not be part of our selection process, nor our junior team.
“We felt Jack needed to be at camp in order to make this team. At the same time, we felt Kent Johnson was a lock for our group.”
The Team Canada prospects camp wrapped up on Sunday, Dec. 12 with a 7-2 victory over the USports All Star team, which consisted of Trail hockey product and MacEwan University Griffin forward Riley Brandt. Team Canada also won their Dec. 11 match 3-0.
“It’s going to be a competitive team, we’re going to try and play fast, a team with a lot of energy, a team that initiates and plays with a lot of discipline,” said head coach Dave Cameron on what he liked at the selection camp.
Goaltender Dylan Garand, defenseman Kaiden Guhle and forward Cole Perfetti are returnees from the 2021 team that won silver in Edmonton.
Team Canada’s camp in Banff runs from Dec. 14-19. The team will begin its pre-tournament play with a game against Switzerland on Dec. 19, and will also play exhibition games Dec. 20 against Sweden in Red Deer and Dec. 22 against Russia in Edmonton.