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Brett Ritchie Honored to Land Spot on Canada's World Junior Team

It came as no surprise, but Team Canada made it official Thursday

Friday, 12.14.2012 / 9:20 AM / News
By Mark Stepneski
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Brett Ritchie Honored to Land Spot on Canada\'s World Junior Team

It came as no surprise, but Team Canada made it official Thursday: Dallas Stars prospect Brett Ritchie is headed to the 2013 World Junior Championship in Ufa, Russia.

“It’s the biggest tournament of the year. I’ve always watched it growing up and it’s been a dream to maybe play on this team some day,” Ritchie said in a phone interview. “It’s a huge honor to be named today.”

After Team Canada defeated a CIS All-Star team, 2-0 in an exhibition game in Calgary this afternoon, Hockey Canada officials finalized their roster for the World Juniors, and Ritchie was among the 13 forwards to make the 23-man roster. He was considered a lock for a spot, but there were still nerves as the final roster cuts were being announced on the third day of Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp.

WATCH: Brett Ritchie at 2012 Development Camp

“There are always going to be nerves right up until they select it,” Ritchie said. “I was sitting in my room checking Twitter to see the updates on who got cut. Once I noticed there were enough cuts made that I was on the team, there was obviously a huge sigh of relief.”

Ritchie is projected by many to be a top six forward for Team Canada, likely on a line with his Niagara IceDogs teammate Ryan Strome. Ritchie is not sure what role he’ll play or where he’ll fit in the lineup, but the 6-4, 218-pound right wing said he is ready to fill whatever role the team needs.

“I just want to play the way I did in camp and where ever that lands me, that’s what I’ll get,” he said. “I want to bring a physical presence. I am one of the bigger guys on the team. I can create space for some of the other guys. Just play a well-rounded game. I want them to trust in me in different situations. I want to contribute in any way I can.”

Ritchie, Dallas’ second round pick (44th overall) in 2011, is currently tied for the goal scoring lead in the Ontario Hockey League with 27 goals in 32 games. He has tallied 26 goals over his last 20 games for Niagara.

“We got off to a great start and recently I’ve been getting some goals and points, and playing really well,” he said. “I think it was perfect timing leading up to this camp. I think I played the same way I had been and that’s what landed me a spot on this team.”

Canada’s roster boasts 10 NHL first round picks including Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the first overall pick in 2011. It also includes Nathan MacKinnon, who could be the first overall pick in 2013.

Here’s a look at Canada’s roster for the 2013 World Junior Championship, which begins December 26 and runs through January 5.

See the full roster here.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 66 42 17 7 196 179 91
2 NSH 65 41 17 7 193 158 89
3 STL 63 40 18 5 197 159 85
4 CHI 64 38 21 5 188 152 81
5 WPG 65 32 21 12 180 175 76
6 VAN 63 36 24 3 182 173 75
7 MIN 63 34 22 7 179 163 75
8 CGY 63 34 25 4 178 162 72
9 LAK 63 30 21 12 171 164 72
10 SJS 65 32 25 8 185 183 72
11 COL 64 28 25 11 170 183 67
12 DAL 64 28 26 10 199 212 66
13 ARI 64 20 37 7 139 218 47
14 EDM 64 18 36 10 145 213 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 64 23 38 -4 61
T. Seguin 55 29 30 0 59
J. Spezza 64 15 37 -5 52
J. Klingberg 50 10 24 2 34
T. Daley 61 16 17 -10 33
C. Eakin 61 15 15 0 30
A. Hemsky 58 9 17 -9 26
A. Goligoski 64 2 24 2 26
A. Roussel 62 12 12 -10 24
S. Horcoff 60 8 13 3 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 26 13 10 .906 2.95
J. Enroth 13 25 2 .900 3.30
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