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Blackhawks Prospects Korchinski, Del Mastro, Allan, and Dach join Team Canada for World Junior Championships
Looking to defend their World Junior Championships Gold Medal from this past August, the Canadians have made their official roster cuts for the upcoming 2023 World Junior Championship tournament and will be bringing four Chicago Blackhawks prospects with them. With four prospects on the team, the Blackhawks have the highest number of players represented on Team Canada of any NHL club.
The Canadian side will be heavy on Blackhawks defensemen as Ethan Del Mastro returns to Team Canada after winning Gold this past summer, while 2021 and 2022 first-round picks, and teammates, Nolan Allan and Kevin Korchinski will be a part of the blue-line. In the forwards group, 2021 second-round pick Colton Dach will be in the loaded Canadian roster up front. 2022 second-round pick Ryan Greene was cut from Canada’s selection camp.
With Del Mastro, Korchinski, and Allan, the Canadian defensive group will bring some size and physicality with all three clocking-in at 6-foot-2 or taller and having both Allan and Del Mastro playing a more defensive-minded, physical-style of hockey. While those two will be tasked with stopping opponents in their own end, it’ll be Korchinski who will likely play a primarily offensive role from the blue-line. Korchinski currently ranks tied for sixth in the WHL in scoring among defensemen with 28 points in 21 games with the Seattle Thunderbirds, ranking third on his team in points.
Colton Dach was a surprise invitee to Canada’s selection camp and is even more of a surprise to make the roster. He’s no slouch, but the fanfare surrounding Colton is not as high as it was around his brother Kirby two years ago. He has missed time this season twice due to concussions, but Dach is fourth on his Kelowna Rockets team in scoring with 17 points in 14 games. He may just be with Canada as a depth player, but it is encoring to see where Hockey Canada values Dach and where Blackhawks fans should value him as well, even if his last name shines a different light on him than it did at this, point a year ago.
Ryan Greene being cut was a surprise after his performance in the exhibition games for Team Canada against the Canadian USports All-Star team (Canada’s version of the NCAA). Greene, a freshman at Boston University, scored twice in the second of two exhibition games to add to his point-per-game pace this season in the NCAA. A strong resume to have once cuts were made, but Greene was left off the final list. But Canada has a history of not taking many, if any, NCAA players to the World Juniors and rather favoring those players who are in the CHL (WHL, OHL, QMJHL). The best thing Greene and Blackhawks fans can take away from his invitation and performance is that him being cut is being seen as a ‘snub,’ which is a good thing, even if just a silver lining.
The 2023 World Junior Championships begin on December 26 and are being held in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. The Gold Medal Game will be held on January 5 at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax.
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