Fans of the Prince George Cougars could be seeing some familiar faces when watching the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship this year.
Goaltender Taylor Gauthier will be fighting for a chance to suit up in red and white this week, as Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp has just gotten underway in Red Deer.
Gauthier is one of five goaltenders who received an invite to the camp, which will wrap up on December 13.
“Taylor is a premier goaltender in our league and has a proven track record with Hockey Canada,” said Cougars’ General Manager and Head Coach Mark Lamb. “This is a tremendous opportunity for him and we’re thrilled to see him get the recognition he deserves.”
Gauthier, 19, had a career year in the 2019-20 season, however, he was passed over in this year’s NHL Entry Draft.
The Calgary, Alta. product set career highs in wins (16), goals-against average (2.93), and save percentage (.917).
In addition, he was also first in the WHL for minutes played, tied for first in games played, second in shots faced, and second in saves.
In 137 career regular-season games, Gauthier has 39 wins and a .903 save percentage.
The 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship begins on Christmas Day with three games before Canada kicks off its tournament schedule on Boxing Day against Germany at 3 pm PT.
Meanwhile, forward Filip Koffer has been named to the Czech Republic’s Selection Camp roster, which finishes November 17, in Litomerice, Czech Republic.
The winger is currently playing for HC Stadion Litomerice in the Czech2 League, however, it is paused due to a spike in COVID-19 infections in the country.
Koffer was the Cougars’ top rookie scorer with 24 points in 59 regular-season games last season and was seventh in team scoring.
The 19-year-old was selected 10th overall by the Cougars in the 2019 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft.
The Czech Republic opens its tournament schedule on Dec. 26 against Sweden.