Who should be the Team Canada MVP at this years World Junior Hockey Championship taking place in Buffalo, New York? There are many good players that are leaving their mark on the tournament so let us look at some of the shining starts for Team Canada.
Olivier Roy has started most of the games for Team Canada but lost his job after losing to team Sweden which forced Canada to take the long route to get to the gold medal. Mark Visentin was the player of the game against Team USA stopping 22 shots. While his save percentage is high his best asset has been his stick handling and with him in the net against the Americans they played with a confidence and determination never seen by this team in the tournament.
Ryan Ellis is more than just the team Captain but he is playing in his 3rd world junior championship tournament and is now the all time leading scorer amongst defenceman. His agent is Bobby Orr and he is playing just like him being a high scoring defenceman that changes the game with his hockey presence, speed through the neutral zone and consistent outlet passes that stretches the opponents defence. He has truly done it all this tournament.
The younger brother of Luke Schenn, Brayden has made his own name for himself leading the tournament in scoring and tying Mario Lemieux and Simon Gagne for most goals scored in a game at 4. He has won some of the games himself and been the tsn turning point in many of them already.
Casey Cizikas made this team because the coaching staff felt this guy does anything to win. He was called upon to be the utility guy to do it all from defence, to shot blocking and to chip in with offence when possible. True hockey fans will know that some of his plays alone could warrant him as the MVP of the entire tournament. He showed his teammates in the first game against the Russians what he was made of nearly single handedly taking on multiple Russian players and eating up valuable power play time while generating a scoring chance as well. That was the play of the game against Russia and the turning point when Canada took over the game. He has also scored timely goals and added some points when the team needed them the most.
As the tournament moves on Ryan Johansen has made a name for himself and started to give problems to the opponents defence and goalies. He is a big tall strong young man who plays a smart cycle game and is doing what it takes to score goals in any league, go to the net. He has gone to the net and is getting rewarded and learning fast. He provides screens and is picking up loose pucks and punishing the opponents in the offensive zone.
Ryan Ellis Team Canada MVP 2011
If you have to pick one player to fill your roster Ryan Ellis is automatically the number 1 choice. He has too much experience in this tournament and he is the leader that all the other players look up to. He solidifies the team defence and can single handedly break down any defence.