Congratulations to forward Mathieu Joseph, a 2015 Tampa Bay Lightning fourth-round draft pick, for being selected to play for Team Canada in the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship.
Joseph, 19, will represent Canada for the first time at any level internationally when he takes to the ice for the tournament that begins December 26 in Toronto and Montreal.
Canada will open with a tough matinee match against Russia at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre while the United States plays Latvia in an evening contest at the arena.
Joseph is the second-leading scorer on the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 25 goals and 20 assists in 29 games. The 120th overall pick in the 2015 National Hockey League Draft has scored 80 goals and 91 assists in 176 QMJHL games since the 2013-14 season.
Joseph got an early Christmas present in December when the Lightning signed him to a three-year entry-level contract on the eve of the IIHF tournament.
Joseph’s game is about high energy and enthusiasm – traits he carries on and off the ice. He’s a gregarious personality, something he inherited from his parents.
“I’m a pretty outgoing guy,” he told Canada’s TSN. “Honestly, it’s easy for me to talk. My family has been raised like that. My parents are like that, maybe not as hyper per se, but I”d say they raised me like that.”
Joseph isn’t the only one in his family who was recognized this month for his hockey prowess. His younger brother, defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph of the QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders, was selected to play in the 2017 Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Quebec City on January 30, 2017.
Pierre-Olivier Joseph has 4 goals and 23 assists in 32 QMJHL games this season. NHL Central Scouting lists him as a player to watch and projects him to be a second or third-round pick at the 2017 draft to be held June 23-24 at Chicago’s United Center.
USA Hockey will announce its final 23-man U.S. roster for the IIHF world juniors on Dec. 24. Three players of color who were also chosen in the 2015 draft are in the hunt for roster spots: Caleb Jones, a defenseman for the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks and an Edmonton Oilers fourth-round pick; Boston University forward Jordan Greenway, a Minnesota Wild second-round draft choice; and Providence College forward Erik Foley, a Winnipeg Jets third-round pick.