Today, Team Canada made their final cuts before the World Juniors get underway in Finland. Included were Brandon Hickey and Mason McDonald, two Flames draft picks from 2014.
This is obviously great news for the Flames, who haven't had an inclusion on Team Canada since Tyler Wotherspoon played in the 2013 World Juniors. They haven't had more than one prospect on the WJC team since 1999, when Robyn Regehr, Blair Betts, Daniel Tkaczuk, and Rico Fata suited up (might not be a good omen).
Mason McDonald was a more obvious selection for the team, having already played for Canada at the U18 level. We don't know if he'll be the starter yet, with the equally impressive Samuel Montembeault and Mackenzie Blacckwood having made the team, but he's guaranteed at least one start. He already strutted his stuff in Canada's 7-1 exhibition win against Belarus, and hopefully, he'll control the net for the majority of the tournament.
Hickey's inclusion is well deserved, having risen quickly since his debut at Boston University. The young defender, often compared to TJ Brodie, has become an important member of the Terriers in only his second year of school. He was initially a long shot to crack the roster considering the depth on Team Canada, but will be representing the country come Boxing Day. Not bad for a third round pick from the AJHL.
Elsewhere, Adam Ollas Matsson is the other Flames prospect at the tournament, representing Team Sweden. I think I speak for almost all of us when I say this is the first time that we'll be able to see him play. Hopefully not the last.