All the experts and prognosticators don’t have Evan Nause on their ghost rosters for Team Canada’s 2023 World Jr team. There’s no question Evan Nause is in tough, some might even say it’s a long shot for him to crack the roster, but I wouldn’t bet against the Florida Panthers defensive prospect.
Nause doesn’t have a ton of the time to prove he belongs, with Hockey Canada’s formal announcement coming on Monday at 5:30 pm outside the Avenir Centre. The 19 year old transitional defender has had a terrific QMJHL career with the Quebec Remparts and is a critical piece of their President Cup and Memorial Cup championship aspirations.
Nause’s versatility is clearly his strongest attribute and potentially a massive advantage when it comes to making the World Junior team.
The Riverview, New Brunswick product can play both sides of the ice with relative ease, can lock things down defensively, possesses an exceptional transition game and can generate offensive opportunities all over the ice. Obviously, all of the hockey insiders that have covered this tournament forever are extremely well connected and have sources in every nook and cranny of the hockey world, but let’s face it, it wouldn’t be a longshot for Nause to bust through and make the team. A lot can happen in a four-day span at this level, especially when you have the games elite all in one place.
Hockey Canada’s World Junior brain trust have no doubt had their ghost rosters penciled in for months and clearly there are locks when it comes to that aspect of the tryout process. Nevertheless, what happens if a player comes to the camp and drastically outperforms two or three players that were penciled in ahead of them? Well, conventional thinking would suggest that the best players would make the team, that’s not always the case when the almighty ghost roster is set in stone.
This isn’t the Academy Awards, even if it feels that way at times, when it comes to the selection process and the players in the past that have been left off the roster. “It’s an honour just to be nominated” or in this case chosen as part of the selection camp. These young hockey players have been dreaming about this opportunity all of their lives and they would do just about anything to make this team. Those players on the potential bubble are more than ready and capable to prove they belong on this team. They are the best of the best, there’s no longshots, they deserve this opportunity, they have earned this opportunity.
There’s tons of the storylines, Hollywood scripts, and TSN documentary style stories that could be written, and Evan Nause cracking the roster in his hometown would be one of them. Some critics might think that’s a longshot, however Nause has been proving critics wrong throughout his journey in the game.