Centre Dylan Strome has been selected as Canada’s captain for the upcoming world junior hockey championships in Montreal and Toronto.
Hockey Canada also announced that centre Mathew Barzal and defenceman Thomas Chabot will serve as alternate captains.
All three are back from last year’s world juniors, when Canada was eliminated by host Finland with a 6-5 quarter-final loss. The trio are expected to be key players when the Canadians open this year’s tournament Dec. 26 against Russia at the Air Canada Centre.
“Dylan, Mat and Thomas have been through this tournament before and we have confidence in their ability to lead this team on and off the ice,” Canada’s head coach Dominique Ducharme said in a statement.
Strome was drafted third overall by the Arizona Coyotes in 2015 and currently plays for the Ontario Hockey League’s Erie Otters. The 19-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., scored four goals and six points at last year’s tournament and won gold at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in 2014.
“Most people only get the chance to play at the world juniors once and you think it’s going to be your last,” Strome told CBC Sports recently. “You feel like you have the whole country on your shoulders and it’s a cool feeling.”
Barzal and Chabot are both former 2015 first-round picks as well; Barzal currently plays for the Seattle Thunderbirds in the Western Hockey League and Chabot with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.