The World Junior Championships are on the horizon, and the Toronto Maple Leafs could have a representative on Team Canada if all goes well.
Team Canada officially unveiled their selection camp roster for the World Juniors, set to take place in Edmonton/Red Deer, Alberta at the end of the month, and the Toronto Maple Leafs have one player vying for a final spot with the team.
19-year-old Ryan Tverberg has been named as one of the 21 forwards set to compete for a spot on Canada’s final roster.
He finds himself alongside some illustrious competition – including the likes of 2020 first-round picks Hendrix Lapierre and Cole Perfetti, 2021 first-rounders Ridley Greig and Dylan Guenther and the presumed first-overall pick for the upcoming 2022 draft class, Shane Wright.
This is an impressive feat for the Richmond Hill, Ontario native, who was selected in the seventh round (213th overall) of the 2020 Draft, at the time taken from the Toronto Jr. Canadiens of the OJHL – a step below major juniors in Canada.
Since being drafted by the Leafs, Tverberg has plied his trade with the University of Connecticut Huskies of the NCAA’s Hockey East conference, where he has shown noticeable growth from his rookie season.
His debut campaign in 2020/21 saw the centreman feature in just 14 total games, where he registered four goals and seven total points – good enough for joint-11th on the team.
In 2021-22, however, Tverberg has stepped up and has already tied his rookie campaign’s appearances, but now leads the team in goals with nine and total points in 16 – averaging over a point-per-game and leading UConn to an 8-6-0 record.
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The Huskies sit behind college behemoths such as Massachusetts and Boston College, but the team has a positive goal differential and is fighting at the top end of the conference – with Tverberg a clear driving force for the team’s success.
The Leafs prospect may struggle to claim one of the final roster spots, with so many high-end, future NHL players also competing, but for him to be named in the selection camp as the lowest drafted player on the entire team is testament to the growth seen since his draft day.
If Tverberg manages to impress enough during camp and lands a place on Team Canada, it will be another impressive accomplishment for a player whose future at the professional level is looking much brighter than initially expected.
Tverberg joins fellow Leafs prospect Matthew Knies, a second round selection in 2021, who looks almost assured of landing a place with Team USA after being named to their respective camp roster.