Josh
Thomas
January 25, 2022

Four prospects to represent Canada at the 2022 Beijing Olympics

Two members of Canada’s 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship team will get another shot at gold this winter.

Mason McTavish and Owen Power, who each represented Canada in two games at the World Juniors before it was cancelled because of COVID-19 concerns, were named to Canada’s roster for the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

Power has 26 points (three goals, 23 assists) in 24 games for the University of Michigan this season.

“I’ve had the opportunity to know him since he was 16,” Canada general manager Shane Doan said, according to NHL.com. “He played in Chicago with the Steel (of the United States Hockey League) and I got to know him there. He just has a level of maturity about him that I’m not too concerned about that. … I’m a huge fan. I think he is a guy that has the opportunity to be a great player, like a great player and to have the chance to have him at something like this is big. … he’s somebody that is going to get an opportunity to play like everybody else and we’ll see what his role is here.”

McTavish has 12 points (nine goals, three assists) in seven games between the Peterborough Petes and Hamilton Bulldogs. McTavish started the season in the NHL with the Anaheim Ducks, recording three points (two goals, one assist) in nine games, and netted two points (one goal, one assist) in the American Hockey League with the San Diego Gulls, before being returned to junior.

Kent Johnson, Power’s teammate at Michigan, will serve as one of the team’s alternates.

Here’s a rundown of the prospects set to represent Canada at the Olympics.

MASON MCTAVISH, HAMILTON BULLDOGS (OHL)

Position: C/W
2021-22 OHL Stats: 7GP | 9G | 3A | 12P
Drafted: Anaheim Ducks (1/3, 2021)

McTavish has played all over this season and that will continue with Team Canada at the Olympics. He didn’t seem out of place in his nine-game stint with the Ducks to start the season. He then dominated in two games for Canada at the 2022 World Juniors, returning home before being traded to Hamilton in the OHL. That’s a lot of luggage.

Everywhere he has played this season, McTavish has found a way to make an impact by driving play while showing great physicality in the process. He isn’t going to beat you with his speed, but he finds those soft scoring spaces and gets to the net. His shot is one of the best from someone his age. It is off his stick and in the back of the net before you can blink. Most importantly, he is built like a fire truck so he will have no trouble engaging physically against grown men. Canada’s coaching may move him to the wing due to his age and experience level, but foresee him playing a key role despite his age.

OWEN POWER, MICHIGAN (NCAA)

Position: LHD
2021-22 Stats: 24GP | 3G | 23A | 26P
Drafted: Buffalo Sabres (1/1, 2021)

Power is the most dominant defender that Canada has seen at such a ripe age in some time. He is a towering blueliner with elite skating ability that covers nearly every inch of the ice. He uses his size, skating and reach to close in quickly on opposing forwards to separate them from the puck to take it the other way for an odd-man rush. He is capable of playing in all situations — penalty kill, power play, defensive and offensive. He is very agile at the point in the offensive zone allowing him to get his wicked snap and slap shot on net.

Most importantly, Power has experience playing with the Team Canada — winning a gold medal at the 2021 IIHF Men’s World Championships last spring. As the tournament went on Power got better with each game, and ended up logging the most minutes in the championship game. Canada is likely to rely on Power as their top blueliner and task him with the most important minutes. 

DEVON LEVI, NORTHEASTERN (NCAA)

Position: G
2021-22 Stats: 24GP | 1.55GAA | .948SV%
Draft: Florida Panthers (7/212, 2020)*
*traded to Buffalo Sabres 

One can argue that Devon Levi has not only been the best goaltender in college hockey this season, but the most valuable player, which is evident in his nomination for the Hobey Baker and laundry list of other awards he has racked up so far this season. Levi played lights out at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship over a year ago, coming up just short in the gold medal game, and it looks like he has used that as motivation this season with every opposing shooter feeling the wrath ever since.

Levi isn’t the biggest goalie but he is very agile and competitive. He is great at tracking the puck through traffic and not allowing juicy rebounds. He is the type of goaltender that teams love to play in front of because they know they can rely on him to make big stops. Levi enters the Olympics as Canada’s least experienced netminder, but that might not prevent him from playing a prevalent role on the team. 

Jack McBain, Boston College (NCAA)

Position: C/W
2021-22 stats: 18GP | 13G | 11A | 24P
Drafted: Minnesota Wild (3/63, 2018) 

Jack McBain is enjoying a breakout senior campaign for the Eagles and has been rightfully rewarded with the opportunity of representing his country in the Olympics. He is a hulking pivot with great wheels that is capable of bullying defenders. His size and strength enable him to dominate in all three zones and on both special team units.

McBain is capable of scoring in a number of ways, but he is at his best when he is going to and crashing the net. He has a quick release on his shot and is difficult to stop when he is in tight with the goaltender. McBain’s skill set and versatility will bring a lot to the table for Team Canada. They should be able to find a spot for him in the lineup playing a key role for this team. 

KENT JOHNSON, MICHIGAN (NCAA)*

Position: W/C
2021-22 Stats: 23GP | 6G | 24A | 30P
Drafted: Columbus Blue Jackets (1/5, 2021)

Johnson will serve as a member of the six-man taxi squad after just narrowly missing out on making the main roster. He brings a creative offensive element that makes him unpredictable to defend. Eyes are peeled whenever he has the puck, as Johnson can create something spectacular of highlight reel variety. He plays the game at a high pace thriving with and without the puck. With the puck, he is such a threat that he seems to always attract multiple defenders ultimately beating them with his escape ability or finds an open linemate with a crafty pass. Without the puck,  Johnson has a knack of finding space and dead zones where he can pounce on loose pucks or swoop in to retrieve passes.

If a forward is unable to go, look for him to be the first man out of the taxi and into the lineup to provide instant offense.

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