After it was announced that five NY Islanders prospects were selected to compete in the World Junior Summer Showcase beginning this weekend, 2022 fourth-round pick Isaiah George was recognized as one of Hockey Canada's participants in the Program of Excellence Summer Meetings.
The list of participants was quite lengthy as 111 players were selected as Hockey Canada begins its preparations for the 2023 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2024 World Junior Championship. George, one of 45 under-20 participants, took part in virtual meetings covering a variety of topics, from sport safety presentations to meetings with Hockey Canada management.
George was one of 14 defensemen to participate, joined mostly by fellow 2022 draftees led by Kevin Korchinski (Chicago Blackhawks, 7th overall 2022) and Denton Meteychuck (Columbus Blue Jackets, 12th overall 2022). Though there were no actual on-ice activities taking place, George can be assured that Canadian management has their eye on him as a potential option along the blue line for the 2024 WJC in Sweden.
George, who will turn 20 on Feb. 15, is entering his final year of major junior hockey with the London Knights of the OHL. The smooth-skating defenseman suffered an injury at Islanders training camp last season, leaving him sidelined for the start of the 2022-23 OHL season. He made his season debut on Oct. 15, propelling the Knights to one of their hottest streaks as they went on to win 22 of their next 25 games.
With Montreal Canadiens 2021 first-round pick Logan Mailloux moving on from the OHL, George will become the Knights' elder statesman on the back end and turned to as one of the team's leaders. He'll look to improve on his seven goals and 15 assists as he pushes for a roster spot hoping to bring Canada its third consecutive WJC gold medal.