2 Nova Scotians on Team Canada for world junior hockey tournament

Growing up, watching Canada’s world junior hockey team play was a tradition for Jared McIsaac that might have been even better than Christmas itself.

“Boxing Day couldn’t come soon enough,” said the 18-year-old defenceman from Truro, N.S. “I think growing up, obviously Christmas is super exciting, but … I was always looking forward to getting Christmas over and watching the Boxing Day game and the tournament. It was always a family tradition.”

McIsaac won’t be watching the tournament this year — he’ll be playing in it.

McIsaac is one of two Nova Scotians named to Team Canada’s 22-player roster. The other player is Shane Bowers, 19, who is from Herring Cove.

Being named to the roster is the latest accolade for McIsaac, who plays for the Halifax Mooseheads.

In June, he was drafted in the second round of the NHL draft by the Detroit Red Wings. The Mooseheads are hosting the 2019 Memorial Cup, so McIsaac is guaranteed a chance to play for the national major junior title at the end of this season.

Jared McIsaac of the Halifax Mooseheads pins Luke Henman of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada against the boards during a QMJHL game on Oct. 20, 2017, in Boisbriand, Que. (Getty Images)

McIsaac said he’s thrilled to be suiting up for Team Canada.

“Any chance you get to play for Team Canada, no matter what the stage is, is always an honour,” he said.

Bowers is in his second season with the Boston University Terriers. He was selected by the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the 2017 NHL draft, but was later traded to the Colorado Avalanche.

Canada’s Shane Bowers keeps the puck away from U Sports during first-period action at the Q Centre in Colwood, B.C., on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. (The Canadian Press)

Canada won last year’s world junior tournament with a 3-1 win over Sweden.

This year’s tournament will be held in Vancouver and Victoria.

McIsaac is confident about the team’s fortunes.

“I think we’ll be able to do some damage,” he said.

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