Three Pittsburgh Penguins prospects are among the top 40 Canadian juniors players who will begin competing to represent Team Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship in December. Jordy Bellerive, Calen Addison, and Justin Almeida will attend the Sport Check World Junior Showcase in Kamloops, B.C. from July 28 to Aug. 4.
Addison and Bellerive play for the WHL Lethbridge Hurricanes. Almeida comes from the WHL Moose Jaw Warriors.
Addison, 18, was the Penguins second-round choice (53rd overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft. The 5-foot-10, 179-pound defenseman had a breakout season with the Hurricanes. Addison’s great strength is his skating ability and puck movement. He scored 65 points (11g, 54a), last season. Addison also reportedly carried the undermanned Lethbridge into the playoffs.
Addison had 19 points (7g, 12a) in 16 playoffs games.
Bellerive, 19, was an undrafted free agent who impressed the Penguins last summer in development camp and the rookie tournament, and subsequently earned an entry-level contract. He had 92 points last season (46g, 46a) and 25 points (9g, 16a) in 16 playoff games.
Last month, Bellerive was injured in the campfire incident which left Lethbridge teammate Ryan Vandervlis in a medically induced coma. Bellerive was released from the hospital in late June, approximately 10 days after the incident.
Vandervlis awoke from the coma and is receiving further treatment.
Justin Almeida, 19, was the Penguins 2018 fifth-round choice. The small center had a huge year for Moose Jaw. The 5-foot-9, 158-pound center had 98 points (43g, 55a). He also had 13 points (6g, 7a) in 14 playoff games.
The trio of Penguins prospects has not previously played on any Canadian national team.
The Penguins additional 2018 second-round draft choice, Filip Hallander, is a likely Team Sweden member, as well. Hallander would have been a member of Team Sweden at the U-18 World Championships in May, however, he was unable to play after a knee injury.