Though we don’t yet know when the NHL will return for the 2020-21 season, we know that we have the World Juniors to look forward to.
Starting on Christmas Day, the World Juniors will kick off in Edmonton. The world’s top U-20 players will travel to Edmonton and isolate themselves in a similar bubble to the one we saw the NHL use for the playoffs this summer.
One Oilers prospect, 2020 first-round pick Dylan Holloway, has been invited to Team Canada’s selection camp, which will be held in Red Deer from Nov. 16 to Dec. 13. Holloway is one of 46 players (26 of whom are forwards) who will be vying for a spot on Team Canada.
As Jason Gregor wrote last week, this could be one of the best squads we see Canada send to the tournament in quite some time. Since the NHL likely won’t resume play until some point in January, just about every top prospect out there will be available to play at the World Juniors.
Given Holloway’s mature, physical style and strong defensive play, he’s a good bet to earn a spot on Canada’s roster in a checking role. That said, one possible obstacle for Holloway would be leaving Wisconsin for longer than an NCAA player generally would for the WJC because he has to quarantine upon entering Canada.
Elsewhere, Philip Broberg will likely play a key role on Sweden’s blueline. He’s currently playing professionally in the Swedish Hockey League but Swedish teams are generally in favour of lending out their young players to play in international events.
It’s a shame that fans won’t be able to watch two top Oilers live prospects at the tournament this winter but the plan is for the World Juniors to be played in Edmonton and Red Deer in front of live crowds next year.