The Czech Republic has cut their World Junior roster down to 28, the group that will travel to Edmonton to begin their quarantine. Three more players will then be cut from the official 25-man roster, but it looks promising for NHL prospects like Michal Teply, Adam Raska, and Jan Mysak. The Czechs will try to compete in a tough Group B where the United States, Russia, and Sweden—a team that hasn’t lost a group stage game in more than a decade—reside.
Lukas Parik, a third-round pick by the Los Angeles Kings, and Jan Bednar, a fourth-round pick by the Detroit Red Wings, will be joined in the goalie trio by a familiar NHL name. Nick Malik, the son of former NHL defenseman (and shootout superstar) Marek Malik has also made the team, though he was not selected in this year’s draft. The 18-year-old went last year too and actually got into one game for the Czechs, even though Parik and star prospect Lukas Dostal were on the team.
- Daniel Alfredsson was contacted by the Swedish team that lost most of its coaching staff to positive COVID-19 tests, but he is ineligible to help out at the tournament thanks to quarantine rules. No other staff are allowed to be added to the traveling party at this point even if they are already residing in Canada, meaning the Swedes will be led by Joel Ronnmark, an assistant coach, and head coach Tomas Monten will help from home after testing positive. The Edmonton Oilers will also loan their video coach, Jason Pietrzykowski to the team, while Anders Eriksen, the coach of the U18 team, will serve as an assistant. It would have been fun to see Alfredsson behind the bench for the Swedes, but they’ll have to try and battle through this adversity without him.
- The U.S. team was expected to name Nick Robertson to the squad later today, but Bob McKenzie of TSN tweets out there may be an issue keeping him from competing. The Toronto Maple Leafs have always been clear that they would let Robertson play if it did not interfere with NHL training camp, but as McKenzie points out, not only is the gold medal game scheduled to be held after the NHL is hoping to open camps, but Robertson would have to serve a seven-day quarantine if he flew from Edmonton to Toronto, potentially missing it entirely. Robertson did not attend the camp in Plymouth with the rest of the U.S. hopefuls, instead staying in Toronto to train (and avoid any border quarantines). The Chicago Blackhawks, who are in the same situation with Kirby Dach who has been named to the Canadian squad, have made the decision that he will have an NHL roster spot even without a training camp.