The Washington Capitals will see two of their prospects in Hendrix Lapierre and Vincent Iorio head to Alberta for a chance to crack Team Canada’s World Junior Roster.
Lapierre is one of 21 forwards and Iorio is one of 11 blueliners to earn an invite to Canada’s national junior team selection camp, which kicks off on Dec. 9 in Calgary, Alberta.
It’s no surprise to see Lapierre head to Team Canada’s selection camp, given his outstanding play over the last year and a half. The 19-year-old, who went 22nd overall in the 2020 NHL Draft, had 31 points in 21 games with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens last season and carried that momentum into this season. He stunned in training camp to earn a spot on the Capitals’ opening night roster and scored his first NHL goal in his debut. He played six games at the NHL level, posting a lone goal, seven shots and three takeaways, before heading back down to the QMJHL to continue his growth with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
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Lapierre is off to a terrific start in the ‘Q so far and has a goal and seven points through six games so far in the ‘Q and has hit the 100-point mark down at the major-junior level.
“You look back at this year and you think about what a great thing. What a great year for a kid and to be able to come in and to have a good training camp at the NHL level, to make the team and make the opening night roster, to score a big goal the way he did in his first game with his parents in the building and to stay on our team and to work in and out of the lineup and every day in practice and to be around guys on what it takes to be a pro and what it takes to play in the National Hockey League,” head coach Peter Laviolette said of No. 29. “We’ve got some great examples in here and he had great linemates to learn from and all of that is excellent.”
Iorio, meanwhile, will also get a chance to crack Canada’s roster. The 19-year-old was Washington’s first pick of the 2021 NHL Draft at 55th overall. He had a strong training camp and continues to impress this year in juniors, with two goals, 10 points and 20 PIM through 17 games so far for the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings. He is a strong skater and plays well in all three zones while using his 6-3 frame to his advantage, winning battles and moving the puck well up ice.
The tournament will be held from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. Here is Canada’s full list of invitees.