There are no words that can really describe the World Juniors getting cancelled.
There are no words to describe how bad the IIHF have handled their business over the last few weeks.
Clearly the Omicron variant is wreaking havoc right now causing a massive surge in COVID-19 cases across the world.
Obviously, there’s bigger things to worry about than the game of hockey. There’s no question this tournament and all the others the IIHF have cancelled should have all been in administered in a bubble.
If we have learned anything about COVID-19 that you have to be ahead of it when planning anything especially a major sporting events.
Personally, you have to be gutted for everyone involved in the IIHF’s tournaments that have been cancelled.
Every single one of those players and staff members have a story.
One player I definitely feel the worst for is Elliot Desnoyers.
The Philadelphia Flyers 5th rounder could have potentially been a part of a President Cup and Memorial Cup caliber winning team with the Moncton Wildcats when COVID first hit.
The gifted two-way forward never had the opportunity to play for those championships and then was traded to the rebuilding Halifax Mooseheads.
The Flyers prospect had an amazing abbreviated season last year with the Herd after being selected in the 5th round of 2020 NHL Draft.
Unfortunately, Desnoyers, will never get a chance to potentially win or play for a gold medal?
This kid is a heart and soul player and person.
There’s no question every player in the World Juniors have a story like Desnoyers, that’s what made yesterday’s announcement so heartbreaking for these kids.
The IIHF is backtracking saying that they now want to continue the tournament in the summer time.
Well that remains to be seen.
Desnoyers’ story is undoubtedly a very special one. At one point it looked he would have been fulfilling the fourth line center role on an extremely deep Wildcats team.
Everyone knew he was going to be part of the trade to Halifax.
Very few ever expected the highly reliable two-way forward to get drafted in the NHL. For some he just didn’t have it.
The Philadelphia Flyers scouting staff did a phenomenal job identifying and projecting his talents.
Desnoyers’ growth and development rivals very few. One could say the long off season after the cancellation of the CHL season in the spring of 2020 was Elliot Desnoyers’ “TSN Turning Point”.
The honest two way player transformed his skating and worked diligently on his offensive skills over that time. When he arrived in Moose country, Desnoyers was riding high, ready to take the QMJHL by storm.
At that point the World Junior Team was so far away from anyone’s radar with regards to Desnoyers.
Elliot Desnoyers has worked for every ounce of his success.
This kid deserved to showcase his talents on the international stage. This kid deserved a shot to play for a gold medal.
Elliot Desnoyers earned the right to represent his country. Every player did and that’s what’s so difficult about seeing the World Junior and other IIHF tournaments cancelled this year.
For many players, this was the first and potentially the last opportunity they will have to represent their country and play for a medal.
Elliot Desnoyers knows first hand what it feels like to have that opportunity taken away.
Obviously, there were no guarantees when he was a member of the Wildcats. There’s no guarantees in the game of hockey. Elliot Desnoyers has learned that the hard way. It also appears that Desnoyers may have played his last game with the Mooseheads. Cam Russell and the Mooseheads brain trust will definitely move him based on the assets that they could receive. One source reported that any deal involved Desnoyers would have four pieces. One can only hope that Elliot Desnoyers will finally get his shot to be a part of a championship team.
His leadership and character speaks for itself. I feel awful for every player and staff with yesterday’s and this month’s cancellations by the IIHF, but I feel the worst for Elliot Desnoyers.