Team Canada received a huge boost when it was recently announced that Joe Veleno would be loaned from the Grand Rapids Griffins for the World Junior tournament, and now they’re getting an even more experienced name. Barrett Hayton of the Arizona Coyotes will be allowed to attend the event as well. Hayton has played in 14 games for the Coyotes this season, scoring four points.
Not only has Hayton already played a number of games in the NHL, but he was also part of the Canadian contingent at the U20 World Juniors last year and scored four points in five games. There’s a good chance that he opens this year as the team’s top center, though Veleno, Dylan Cozens and Ty Dellandrea are also great choices down the middle.
Selected fifth overall in 2018 despite scoring just 60 points in 63 games during his draft year, Hayton has developed into one of the top prospects in the league and a huge part of the Coyotes future. His opportunity with the NHL club this season has been limited, but he’ll get a chance to dominate his age group once again when the tournament kicks off later this month.