LA Kings prospect Brandt Clarke was not named to Team Canada’s initial roster for their World Junior Selection Camp beginning Friday in Moncton.
After racking up 59 points in 55 games as captain of the OHL’s Barrie Colts last season, this year has been a bit of a slow burn for LA’s top selection at the 2021 NHL Draft. Clarke’s impressive offseason, and subsequent training camp performance, earned him a spot on the Kings opening night roster. Sitting on nine NHL games played for quite some time, he recently did a five-game conditioning assignment in the AHL — where he recorded his first professional goal.
As Mayor’s Manor first reported, conversations took place last week between Clarke, GM Rob Blake, and Canadian officials to discuss his potential inclusion on the Team Canada roster. While nothing has been made official from those conversations, it’s safe to assume that Clarke and the Kings were likely looking for assurances of Canada’s intentions of whether or not they plan to include him on the final roster. Him not being invited to camp last December received quite a bit of media attention and nobody is looking for a second circus this time around.
On Monday, Team Canada named 29 players to their initial WJC roster and Clarke was not included. He previously won a gold medal with Canada — alongside fellow Kings prospect Franky Pinelli — at the 2021 Under 18 World Junior Championahip. That team had former Ontario Reign bench boss Mike Stothers serving as assistant coach.
This story will likely continue unfolding as the week progresses.
Although the longer term plan remains to be seen, Clarke is believed to be en route to Ottawa with the Kings, where the club will begin a six-game road trip on Tuesday.
The Senators were his favorite team as a kid, as he grew up nearby and still has family in the area. Seems like a good place for him to get his 10th game. Time will tell if Blake and coach Todd McLellan agree.
If he doesn’t play, keep this in mind…
Shane Wright and Dylan Guenther were not announced by Team Canada either. The latter was said to be targeted for the upcoming WJC, so perhaps there is a second announcement coming later this week for Clarke and/or either of those two players.
Lead photo via ALo Images
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