Two brothers lead the contingent of BC minor hockey products named to the final 22 man roster of this year’s edition of the Team Canada World Junior team.
Defenceman Griffin Reinhart and forward Sam Reinhart both played their minor hockey at Hollyburn. Forward Nic Petan developed at cross town rival North Shore Winter Club, while Vernon product Curtis Lazar honed his skills at both Pursuit of Excellence and Okanagan Hockey School.
Griffiin Reinhart (01/24/94) is in his fourth year with the Edmonton Oil Kings, is currently 2-9-11 and +4, after 20 games with the third place Oil Kings.
Reinhart, 6’4″ 202 lbs, is suspended for the first three WJC games, for a high sticking infraction against US forward Vincet Trochek in last year’s preliminary game.
However, head coach Brent Sutter told NHL.com that after Reinhart’s stellar performance in the Subway Series – a warm up Series played mainly to evaluate Team Canada prospects, “if we could have him for the last four games of the tournament we would rather have that than not have him.”
Griffin’s younger brother centreman Sam Reinhart, 6’1″, 183, (11/06/95), is the leading offensive player for the seventh place Kootenay Ice at 16-34-50, in 33 games, and is +4. Sam also played his first full year in the league as a 16 year old and put up 28-34-62 in 67 games.
Another Hollyburn grad, defenseman Morgan Reilly (03/09/94), would have joined his former minor hockey buddies on the team if not for sticking with his NHL draft team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, who announced last week they would not release him to Team Canada for the tournament. Don Cherry says he’s the best D on the team, so no wonder, but too bad for Team Canada.
Curtis Lazar (02/02/95), is Griffin’s teammate on the Oil Kings, and is in second place in team scoring, with 21-16-37 and +22 in 27 games. Lazar, 6’0″, 196 has signed with the Ottawa Senators. Lazar scored 20-11-31 in 63 games in his rookie year.
Nic Petan (03/22/95) adds more offense to the lineup, as the top producer on #1 Portland Winterhawks. Petan 5’9″, 173, is currently 20-46-66, +25 for the Hawks, second overall in the league behind 1993 born Mitch Holmberg of the Spokane Chiefs. Petan put up 14-21-35 in 61 games as a 16 year old.
The team released its final roster Sunday, cutting forward Felix Girard after Canada dropped a 3-0 exhibition game to Sweden in Angelholm.
Swedish star Andrew Burovsky scored and notched an assist in the game, after announcing before the game, that Sweden would have a ‘much better’ team than Canada in the tournament.
The tournament will also feature the introduction of 16 year old rookie sensation Connor McDavid, of Newmarket, Ontario to a national audience of Canadian hockey fans.
The tournament opens Boxing Day, at 4:30 am Pacific with Canada facing Germany. Canada then plays the Czechs at 8:30 am PST Saturday, Dec 28.
All games will be broadcast live on TSN.
For full TSN schedule, check http://www.tsn.ca/world_jrs/feature/?id=62670