Skip to content

Brook hopeful heading into World Junior selection camp

Moose Jaw Warriors defenceman Josh Brook looks for another opportunity to wear Team Canada jersey

Playing in the World Hockey Challenge as a 16-year-old and World Under-18 championship at 17 is all well and good. The World Junior Hockey championship? That's a life-long dream come to fruition.

Yet there the Warriors captain will be this week in Victoria, looking to crack the roster of the National Junior Team and represent his country on the greatest stage for junior hockey in the world – and hopefully make some incredible on-ice memories of his own.

“I've watched pretty much every single year from when I can remember,” Brook said of the World Juniors. “Jordan Eberle's goal against the Russians (in 2009) is the biggest one I can remember... the first time I watched it I said to myself I want to play on that team and in that tournament, so it's been a long time.”

Brook heads into the event with an undeniable inside track on cracking the roster. His play this season has been nothing short of exemplary, boosted by a fully healed wrist injury and a full off-season of training with the Montreal Canadiens organization, who drafted him in the second round, 56th overall. Brook's nine goals and 31 points are good enough for second in defenceman scoring in the Western Hockey League, six points back of fellow camp invitee Ty Smith of the Spokane Chiefs.

Team Canada also has only two players returning from last year's gold-medal winning squad, neither of them defencemen – Maxime Comtois of QMJHL Drummondville and Alex Formenton of OHL London.

Add in the fact the head coach of the team is none other than Tim Hunter, head coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors, and Brook's chances get rosier still.

But the World Junior selection camp has long been known for humbling even league scoring leaders, so Brook knows there's still lots to be done until his dream is realized.

“You just play the best you can in camp, stick to your game since that's what they chose you for,” Brook said. “I'm just going to play the role I've been given to the best of my hard in practice, just touch everything up, make sure I'm making passes quick and hard on the tape, make sure I get lots of rest and fluids, everything I need to be at my best and make the team.”

“It feels good to have a chance, but the work still isn't done yet and there's a lot of work to be done to make that team.”

If everything works out according to plan, Brook will take the ice at Rogers Arena in Vancouver when Canada opens its 2019 World Junior Championship against Denmark on Boxing Day. Asked what would be his biggest moment from that day, his answer was predictable.

“Probably just stepping on the ice there with the jersey,” he said. “I've represented Canada before, but this is the big one. So just stepping on the ice for the first time in Vancouver is going to be incredible.”

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks