Prospects Bernard-Docker, Shane Pinto switch sides in bid for junior glory

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It’s Jacob Bernard-Docker for Canada, Shane Pinto for the United States, plus Lassi Thomsen for Finland.

Since the beginning of the 2019-20 season, Ottawa Senators prospects Jacob Bernard-Docker and Shane Pinto have played vital roles in leading the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks to top spot in the NCAA rankings.

For the next couple of weeks, though, they will be on opposite sides in pursuit of world junior glory.

Shane Pinto after being drafted 32nd overall by the Senators in Vancouver in June.

Bruce Bennett /

Getty Images

Bernard-Docker, who has scored three goals and 11 assists in 17 games for North Dakota, is a vital cog on the Canadian defence. He was selected by the Senators 26th overall in the 2018 National Hockey League draft.

Pinto, who has scored eight goals and six assists in his 17 games of NCAA action, is expected to serve in a checking role for the United States. The Senators chose him 32nd overall in the 2019 draft.

Lassi Thomson at Senators development camp in Ottawa in June.

Errol McGihon /

Postmedia

The other Senators prospect in the 2020 world junior tournament in the Czech Republic is Lassi Thomson, the Finnish defenceman who was drafted 13 selections ahead of Pinto in June. Earlier this week, Thomson was named Finland’s captain for the championship.

Senators general manager Pierre Dorion and assistant general manager Peter MacTavish are expected to leave for the Czech Republic on Boxing Day.

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