Explosive. Suffocating. Dynamic. Crushing. Relentless
These are just a few of the words that begin to describe the performance of the young men assembled to represent Canada 5 years ago in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
5 Years Later, the majority of these young men have become dominating forces in the NHL for their respective teams. Many of which have now been named, and will again represent Canada for the Mens Olympic hockey team in Vancouver in the coming weeks. GO CANADA!!
Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. Drafted 1st overall in 2005 by Pittsburgh Penguins
What's more to say? Junior Carer saw him win
Quebec Major Junior Champion and Scoring Leader
Canda Major Junior Player of the Year
2005 Memorial Cup Finalist and World Junior Gold.
As a Pro, the winning has continued with his trophy case being filled with:
The Hart MVP, Art Ross, Lester B. Pearson and last spring achieved his ultimate goal by hoisting the Stanley Cup. Also has the distinction of being the youngest captain and scoring leader in league history.
This year, Crosby has the Rocket Richard in his sights (currently tied with Ovechkin with 42)...and is 1 game away from Olympic Gold...
And remember folks...he is only 22!!
Kenora, Ontario. Drafted 24th Overall in 2003 by Philadelphia Flyers
One of the rare players who puts it all together...score, hit, fight, shutdown. The current Flyers Captain is considered to be Bobby Clarke 2.0. His 2 Way Play will make him a Perennial Selke Candidate, who is always dangerous short handed.
Currently teaming with Jonathon Toews on Canada's dominant and dynamic shut down line at the Olympics.
Regina, Saskatchewan. Drafted 19th overall in 2003 by Anaheim Ducks
Stanley Cup Champ, World Junior Champ, Olympic Champ? Getzlaf has a history of winning, and just seems to get better with each passing year. Future 100 point man (broke 90 last year), blends size and skill seamlessly as a force to reckon with at both ends of the ice. Career parralels with teammate Corey Perry are uncanny, as they have shared many successes.
Freak Anle Injury currently threatened his chance to represent Canada on the grand stage of Vancouver 2010, but with a 4 point performance against Edmonton before the break, showed he was ready. Was a force against the Russians helping to once again send Ovechkin and Malkin home just like 2005!
Peterborough, Ontario. Drafted 28th overall in 2003 by Anaheim Ducks
Corey had a storybook year in 2004-05 that would be the envy of any player. To go along with his World Junior Gold, Perry was also:
OHL's Leading Scorer and MVP in Regular Season
OHL Champion and Playoff MVP with the London Knights
Then for an encore, Corey and the Knights captured London's 1st ever Memorial Cup and he was named Tournament MVP for the MVP hat trick.
2 Years Later, the success would continue when Corey and 2005 Junior Teammate Ryan Getzlaf hoisted the Stanley Cup for Anaheim.
"Pears" earned a coveted spot on the 2010 Mens Olympic Team and with 2 goals was instrumental in the key win against RUSSIA.
London, Ontario. Drafted 11th overall in 2003 by Philadelphia Flyers
40 Goal Man in the NHL, Carter is a Premier Power Forward, and is one half of dynamic duo 1-2 punch up the middle with Richards in Philly
Was to replace Getzlaf if his ankle kept him from competing, which shows he was on the cusp of making the team which speaks to his level of play.
Sicamous, BC Drafted 2nd Round 49th overall in 2003 by Nashville Predators
Absolute monster on the blue line, feared as much for his cannon shot as he is for his bone jarring checks. (Ask the Germans how hard he shoots..even the net can't contain it!)
Shea Weber really blossomed in the 2008-2009 Season is a dominating force on the blue line in Nashville.
Vancouver 2010 Olympian is patrolling the blue line for Canada and showing the world what some already knew.
L'Ancienne-Lorette, PQ Drafted 2nd Rd, 45th Overall by Boston Bruins
One third of the top line for Canada with Corey Perry and Sidney Crosby, Bergeron benefitted from the lockout to come back and play for Gold. Patrice led all scorers and was named MVP of the tournament. Bergeron had the unusual distinction of actually winning a Men's World Championship Medal before capturing Junior Gold.
Bergeron's NHL career has been a roller coaster ride of emotion. A strong rookie campaign made him a "player to watch", but then a vicious hit from behind from Randy Jones, knocked Bergeron out of action for an extended period of time last year with a severe concussion. Patrice has since returned this year, stepping up as one of the Boston's best players with the absence of Savard and Lucic due to injury and Kessel due to trade to Toronto.
Bergeron was also named to the Olympic team with previous linemates Crosby and Perry....but unfortunately aside from a few faceoffs wins, has looked incredibly overmatched and over his head so far. Has Canadian fans screaming the name "STAMKOS"..who many felt would've been a better choice.
Edmonton, AB Drafted 9t overall in 2003 by the Calgary Flames
The DOUBLE DION will go down in Hockey Canada vernacular with his World Junior cult status. (although listening to Pierre say it took some of the fun out of it...after the 100th time)
A true monster at both ends of the ice, feared as much for his shot as his bone rattling open ice hits. Dion would've been a Calder Favourite with his outstanding rookie performance, if he had not been competing with the likes of Crosby and Ovechkin in what was arguably the greatest collection of freshman to ever play in the NHL in one season.
Recently obtained by the Leafs by the fledgling Flames. Could be their ultimate downfall by getting rid of the wrong player supposedly "ruining" that team. (personal speculation!)
Phaneuf is just 24...but his continued regression over past 2 seasons cost him joining the rest of his 2005 junior gold teammates on the 2010 Vancouver Olympici team.
Richmond, BC. Drafted 14th overall in 2003 by Chicago Blackhawks.
Seabrook mixes a style of size and skill to make himself a contributor at both ends of the ice. Seabrook is a component of an extremely deep and talented Blackhawk Blueline that has helped ressurect the 'Hawks to elite stauts.
Not flashy but effective, Seabrook with his partner Duncan Keith have become arguably the best "Thunder and Lightning" shutdown pair in the NHL, which translated into a spot on the coveted 2010 Canadian Men's Olympic Team. Seabrook has played sparingly in the tournament, but has not looked out of place.
Winnipeg, Manitoba. Drafted 3rd overall by Chicago Blackhawks in 2004
Solid D man with Offensive upside played well with fellow Blackhawk pick Brent Seabrook. Played only 3 games before mono knocked him out of the tournament. Barker would rectify that by coming back and contributing for his 2nd gold in 2006
Cam has spent a lot of time in the minors, but was recently sent to the Minnesota Wild for Kim Johnsson, in what appears to be a "cap move" for the contract heavy 'Hawks. Maybe now away from the crowded Chicago blueline, he can start to realize some of his 1st Round potential.