Dale Hunter is getting his first crack at coaching the world junior team after leading Canada to gold at an under-18 competition in 2013. Lafreniere and Byfield will be counted on up front, while Jamie Drysdale-- another forecasted top-10 pick at the 2020 NHL draft-- is set to become simply the seventh 17-year-old to play defence for Canada at the world juniors. Getting bounced in last year's quarterfinals at the hands of Finland, which would go onto win gold, indicates that Canada will have to strike the ground running in Ostrava and Trinec. "Where we completed last year and the schedule we're provided, it is what it is, so let's be prepared to play," Hockey Canada head scout Brad McEwen said. Canada had actually failed to score in its last nine shootout attempts at the world juniors prior to Max Comtois likewise missed the mark on a charge shot in last year's quarters. Canada bests Switzerland in world juniors exhibit:

Dawson Mercer, Liam Foudy and Bowen Byram scored as Canada blanked Switzerland 3-0 in their very first warm-up game ahead of the upcoming World Junior Championship. 1:07

Shootout acumen

Canada had actually failed to score in its last 9 shootout efforts at the world juniors prior to Max Comtois also fizzled on a charge shot in last year's quarters. The Canadians understand it's been one of their Achilles heels, but will do everything possible to be prepared if the scenario presents itself in the medal round. "It's part of the game," Dale Hunter stated. "It's [something] you can practice."