Danny Syvret is the only member of Canada’s National Junior Team that is currently undrafted. He’s become a household name among fans of the London Knights of the OHL. Last season, he was rated with a +43 to rank him second in both the OHL and the Knights in plus/minus.
This is Syvret’s first year at the World Juniors, it also his last, but he is no stranger to playing in international competition. Syvert was a selection for Team Ontario at the World Under-17 Challenge in 2002 and attended Canada’s National Junior Development Camp in Calgary, AB this past August.
But Syvret has wanted to be a member of Canada’s National Junior team since his days in elementary school. “Every year, at Christmas time, there isn’t any hockey except for World Juniors. So everyone watches 19 year olds contend for the gold and it’s pretty exciting.”
The Milgrove, ON native has had a remarkable season this year with the Knights. He was named player of the week after a three game stretch in which he recorded five goals and seven points. In the month of November, Syvret scored seven goals and added seven assists in 11 games as he was named the OHL’s player of the month.
“I had a big month in November,” said Syvret. “I was putting puck on net and they were finding their way in for goals.” It was also a big month for the Knights, as they went on a 30 game win streak, and Syvret had a lot to do with that. “It’s phenomenal to play on a team like that and win the games we did. I’m glad I could be a part of it.”
Syvret has been no slouch at this year’s WJC either. He is tied for third on Team Canada in plus/minus, a stat that Syvret says is pretty important. “I try to take care of my own end. Plus/minus is a big stat in hockey and if I can stay in the positive end I’m pretty happy.”
Syvret says that individual stats aren’t that important as long as Canada wins. He added that anything less than a gold medal for Canada this year will be a disappointment. “The country has waited nine years for the junior team to win a gold medal. That’s the only thing we’ll be happy with too.”
During his spare time at the WJC, Syvret kills time by beating his roommate, Braydon Coburn, at chess. “Those battles get pretty heated,” Syvret said. “But I’m up in the series 4-1.”
It seems like Syvret isn’t sweating his play at the World Juniors nor his NHL Draft Status. “I’m not really thinking about it that much. If playing in this tournament or for London helps out my chances, great, but I’m not going to worry about it again until this is over.” Syvret hopes that he can play hockey professionally in the future, but says that it’s a long way down the road. “Hopefully I can go on and play somewhere. But for right now I’m pretty focused on this.”
Team Canada has an off day on New Years Day, but will play the winner of the Finland/Czech Republic quarterfinal game. “I’d like to play either team,” Syvert said. “We’ve seen what the Finns have to offer so it might be nice to play the Czechs.