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Wotherspoon thrilled to be named to Team Canada's World Junior Championship roster

Thursday, 12.13.2012 / 5:23 PM MT / News
By Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)
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Wotherspoon thrilled to be named to Team Canada\'s World Junior Championship roster

CALGARY, AB -- After an agonizing afternoon waiting for Hockey Canada to release their 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship roster, Calgary Flames prospect Tyler Wotherspoon received word he would be one of the seven blueliners suiting up for his country in the tournament.

"I didn't know what to think right away," he said with a grin. "It was so fast. It was such a long wait and then all of sudden, it was so fast.

"Right now, I'm taking it all in and I'm so happy right now. I'm so proud of myself and I'm really happy for the experience."

The first person the Surrey, BC product shared the news with was his father, who is in Calgary this week. He then checked with his mom and sister.

"They were all nervous, waiting for me (to call) but it was all going through my head so fast, I didn't know what to say. I just told them and they were very happy for me, as they always are."

The 19 year-old played in all three games at Hockey Canada's selection camp and, overall, was very pleased with how he showcased himself this week.

"I was pretty proud of the way I played, I was pretty comfortable. Especially the last game, I thought I played my best game (today). I was pretty confident going in but I didn't know what was going to happen so it was a long wait."

The Canadian roster has several offensive blueliners in the mix this year so the coaching staff appreciate Wotherspoon's ability to shut down the opposition and play a very responsible game in his own end.

"I like the fact that he's not offensive," Canadian head coach Steve Spott said on Thursday night. "Tyler fully understands his role with our hockey club. He gives us an element of strength, of size, of compete.

"Obviously he's a puck-moving guy and when we get over there, we're going to need some guys that are safe and steady, who can kill penalties, block shots. Tyler fits that role very nicely."

The Flames had members of their hockey operations staff in the stands at WinSport over the last few days but their presence didn't add any stress to Wotherspoon's week.

"It's not a big deal. I know they're watching me all the time. I try not to worry about that kind of stuff and just play my game."

Wotherspoon, who is one of the Portland Winterhawks assistant captains this season, has played 29 games this season. He's potted three goals and 23 points in that span while amassing a plus-34 rating. He also played for Team WHL in the Subway Super Series last month.

The Flames selected Wotherspoon in the second round of the 2011 NHL Draft.