The Pittsburgh Penguins haven’t had that many high draft picks in 2019 and 2020, and thus don’t have a lot of excitement for the World Junior Championships that start later this month. But there are a few names in the mix. Both of the Pens’ highest draft picks in 2020, Finnish goalie Joel Blomqvist (2nd round) and Swedish goalie Calle Clang (3rd round) have made their countries respective preliminary rosters.
Considering both Blomqvist and Clang are eligible to play in this under-20 tournament next season in December 2021, this is a pretty good sign that both will eventually get a chance to participate in this tournament at some point, even if it perhaps isn’t this season.
Finland's preliminary WJC roster has been announced. pic.twitter.com/dr2uyQAndG— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) December 4, 2020
From 2019 draftees, Judd Caulfield (5th round pick) did not end up making Team USA, so the only other Pittsburgh prospect still in contention for this year’s WJC is Samuel Poulin (1st round) for Team Canada. Poulin is among the 47 players competing in a camp to make the final team.
Corey Pronman from The Athletic included Poulin in his projection of Team Canada, but only as an extra skater, so it looks like Poulin could be right on the fringe of either just barely making the team or being among the final cuts.
Also, as a complete aside and apropros of nothing, does Poulin’s hair style and facial expressions give me flashbacks to Silvio Dante (Little Stevie Van Zandt) from The Sopranos? They were born over 50 years apart, and yet:
Whaddya think, am I on an island on this one or what, Tone?