In contrast to the U.S National Junior Team, which just made its preliminary cuts and is top-heavy with American college-trained players, its Canadian counterpart features just two NCAA skaters in defenseman Michael Matheson and forward Mark Jankowski. Both hail from Hockey East and were 2012 NHL first-round draft choices, and both will be sophomores in 2013-14.
Matheson, a 6'2", 189-pound blueliner from Pointe-Claire, Quebec, was chosen 23rd overall by the Florida Panthers last year. As a freshman last season at Boston College, he put up eight goals and 17 assists for 25 points in 36 games, and helped the Eagles to their ninth NCAA Tournament berth in the last 10 years. He spent the 2011-12 campaign with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League.
Jankowski, a 6’3”, 175-pound forward from Dundas, Ontario, was taken two spots ahead of Matheson by the Calgary Flames last year. As a rookie at Providence College in 2012-13, he collected 7-11—18 points in 34 outings, while helping the Friars to the Hockey East semifinals. Prior to enrolling at Providence, he skated two years at Stanstead College Prep in Quebec.
The 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship will be contested in Malmo, Sweden from Dec. 26, 2013 to Jan. 5, 2014. The U.S. is the defending WJC champ, having taken gold last winter in Ufa, Russia.