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« I remember seeing him on the rink and I walked up to him and wanted to introduce myself, » said Levi. « He shook my hand with two fingers because my hand was only the size of his two fingers. It was an amazing experience. He was one of my idols. «
As the Panthers Levi in the seventh round, a total of 212. , while drafting the National Hockey League in October, it was exciting not only to hear his name, but to know he would get the chance to work with Luongo. who oversees the Florida Department of Excellence. And during the Canadian World Junior Selection Camp, the two spoke several times.
« The biggest message I’ve caught is, ‘Enjoy the moment. There may be a lot of pressure, but pressure can only be lived once and pressure is a privilege. ‘He said he looked back on his World Juniors experience to date and enjoyed it like crazy . . . I was really moved by his message. «
During this weird pandemic selection camp that spanned 18 days in quarantine, Levi is ranked No.. 1 emerged. 1 goalkeeper on Canada’s depth map. He will start the only game before the tournament against Russia on Wednesday and expects to play the full 60 minutes.
« We are very satisfied with our No.. 1 goalkeeper at this point, « said head coach Andre Tourigny.
Tourigny wasn’t ready to say whether Prince George’s Taylor Gauthier or Kamloops’ Dylan Garand would dress up as a backup.
Levi’s rise is remarkable considering that despite the posting of a, he wasn’t even invited to Hockey Canada’s virtual summer camp . Save 941 percent in 37 games with the Carleton Place Canadians and become MVP of the Canadian Junior Hockey League.
« The call definitely cheered me on and pushed me a little harder, » said Levi.
Hockey Canada goalkeeping coach Jason LaBarbera told TSN prior to camp that Levi’s performance at the 2019 World Junior A Challenge put him in the mix for the World Juniors.
« There’s a lot of skill there, » said LaBarbera. « He’s a super skilled guy. Not the tallest guy [6 feet, 189 pounds] but his level of competition and the way he goes about things is really high end. He wasn’t on the radar in the sense that he played Junior A, but a lot of the NHL people I speak to have lots of good things to say about him. «
Levi points to the World Junior A Challenge as a turning point in his young career. He led Canada East to a silver medal and was named the tournament’s MVP.
« We made it to the semi-finals, but I knew I had a different gear and I tapped that, » he explained. « I just wanted so badly to win. We have been overlooked by so many people. Canada East was supposed to be the first team in the tournament and that just cheered us on . . . It was all mental. A big part of hockey and goalkeeping in particular is the mental side and the ability to really focus and be able to get excited and be super competitive. That costs a lot, but it can unlock a whole new game. «
Levi faced adversity early on in Canada’s camp. The Northeastern University freshman had to stay in cohort quarantine with the other two NCAA players – Wisconsin’s Dylan Holloway and Alex Newhook of Boston College – for the first week. He was supposed to join the main group and start an intra-squad scrimmage on the day two players tested positive for COVID-19, which forced the camp into a two-week quarantine.
« I was just busy, » said Levi. « I tried to improve. I didn’t want to waste the two weeks. I brought my juggling balls to my room and did hand-eye exercises. I’ve seen a lot of film. I’ve seen previous goalkeepers like Carter Hart and Joel Hofer in that tournament. I have read a lot. I brought a book on mental training so I did a little bit of it. I really tried dialing it in during the two weeks to make sure it was a seamless transition when I got back on the ice. «
The hard work has paid off. Levi looked good in the two intra-squad scrimmages after camp posted another 36 save shutout in the second. And now he gets another shot at the Russians, who beat Canada East in double overtime in the championship game of the World Junior A Challenge.
Team Canada head coach Andre Tourigny announced that Devon Levi will be his starter for Canada’s first pre-tournament game against Russia. This came as a bit of a surprise as Levi is the only player on the roster who wasn’t invited to the team’s virtual camp this summer. The election of the panthers in the seventh round talked about how wise advice from Roberto Luongo helped him get here.
After four consecutive days of 90-minute training, Team Canada only spent an hour on the ice on Tuesday. Before the meeting, Tourigny informed his players that the training would be shorter and that he wanted to concentrate more.
The training ended with a combat exercise in which the players competed two against two with two nets set up around a faceoff circle.
« Our drills have been pretty intense lately and we try to make them as playful as possible, » said defender Thomas Harley, « but nothing compares to a game, especially against a team like the Russians. They’re very quick, very smart, and very skillful so hopefully in the first step we’ll have our feet under us and remember how to play second and third hockey. «
Only five players on Team Canada have qualified for a league game this season, so this one pre-tournament game is incredibly important. Tourigny admits he’s not sure what to expect.
« I can talk to you for hours about our guys, how they behaved in practice, how they adapt when we teach them different things, like they are off the ice, but in terms of how they are Will react in games When the heat will be on, when mistakes will happen, when we will have breakdowns and the like? I can’t tell you at the moment. «
Tourigny worked with 11 of these players on Canada’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup team in 2018, but he believes the experience is no longer as relevant.
« In the life of a 19-year-old child, two years is so much, » he said. « It’s so much of his life and his career. We have relationships with our players right now and we’re happy with where we are, but I can’t say exactly how they’ll react in a game. We have to play. «
And Tourigny has to train. The reigning Canadian Hockey League Coach of the Year hasn’t run a bank since March.
« This is going to be a challenge, » he said. « It looks easy to just send the next guy down the boards, but to do a good job you have to get a feel for your team and make the right adjustments, and most importantly, put the right player in the right situation. « . «
« It’s in the works, » said Harley. « They keep the calls really simple so it isn’t too hard to make mistakes. It’s just about getting reps in practice and hopefully those will translate into the game. «
« If I play puck, we have two calls, » Levi revealed. « We have ‘on’ and ‘over. “Up is my forehand side, up is my backhand side and it’s just very clear and very effective and we know how to get the job done. Of course, if I have to read something I have to read and see who is open, but I trust my D to name the right thing. «
The Colorado Avalanche is leading with three perspectives for Team Canada. Vancouver Giants defender Bowen Byram, a returning player, was assisted by Halifax Moosehead defenseman Justin Barron and Boston College Center Alex Newhook.
« I think so, » said Barron. « It’s pretty cool. I had a good relationship with Bo and Alex. When I grew up, I played with and against Alex several times, and I’ve had a relationship with him and the same with Bo for several years. I’ve lived with him at Hockey Canada events a few times, so it’s pretty cool. «
Barron also had the chance to meet his fellow Nova Scotian and current Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon this summer.
« Nate was looking for a defense attorney who could come out so he could do some more playful exercise, and I was lucky enough to get an invite to one of those skates, » said Barron. « It was cool to see Nate and develop a relationship with him. «
The skates were organized by Jon Greenwood, who trains the Mooseheads defense. Shane Bowers, another Avalanche prospect from Halifax, also attended.
« For training with just three or four guys on the ice, Nate has been very intense, very competitive and it’s pretty easy to see what kind of drive he’s got and it’s obvious why he’s one of the best players in the world « said Barron watching. « I heard about the design from Nate and it was a cool feeling and something special to be part of an organization with so many people from the Maritimes. «
MacKinnon made a big impression on Barron, but it also appears the 19-year-old stood out from the star center.
« Nate texted Joe last week and called Joe and told him we had to take Justin Barron with us, » said Alan Hepple, Colorado’s director of amateur scouting after the Avalanche Barron hit 25th. Had chosen overall rank.
« I have some good reps on him, » Barron said with a chuckle, « and he got the best of me a couple of times. « . It was fun getting out there and competing against him, his speed and his hands. «
« I couldn’t even tell you, » said Barron. « Just try, I think, not to make him look stupid. «
Tuesday night was the first game in nine months for Team USA Center Alex Turcotte. While training in Los Angeles, the Kings prospect focused on becoming a better goalscorer.
« Just shoot from different areas, change the angle and try to find different ways to get more points, » he explained. « That was the biggest thing I worked on. «
Turcotte scored nine goals and 17 assists in 29 games with the Wisconsin Badgers last season.
« I’ve always had a pretty good shot, I’ve just always chosen to be a pass first player and that’s more of my game, » he said. « Just this shooting mentality is what I’ve really been working on and what I have on my mind and just being more of a double threat. It’s all a mentality thing and the confidence to pull the trigger. «
Turcotte also worked on improving his stamina, which will help him maintain his level later in games.
And while he’s been waiting to play, Turcotte has been watching his old team quite a bit and he likes what he sees of his buddy Cole Caufield.
« He’s holding onto the puck longer, » noted Turcotte. « He’s a playmaker as well as a great goalscorer and shooter. He wears the game a lot and makes his teammates better around him and that’s great to see . . . He’s definitely one of the best players in this tournament and hopefully he will light it up for us. «
On Tuesday evening, striker Alex Turcotte will play his first competitive game since March. The Los Angeles Kings prospect provided a glimpse into the challenges of such a lengthy layoff and explained why he believes Team USA is ready for a special run in the Edmonton Bubble. Turcotte, who played with Cole Caufield in Wisconsin last season, also described what it was like to hear from special guest speaker Patrick Kane.
Canada, Roberto Luongo, Canadian Men’s Junior Ice Hockey Team, André Tourigny
World News – CA – Devon Levi leans on Roberto Luongo on his way to Canada’s starting job – TSN. approx.
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