Brandon Wheat Kings
CALGARY, Alta. – Two members of the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings will have the opportunity to wear the Maple Leaf at this year’s World Junior Hockey Championships, to be held from December 26th to January 5th in Calgary and Edmonton.
Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced the list of forty-one players invited to next month’s camp and among them were Wheat Kings’ captain Mark Stone and veteran left-winger Michael Ferland.
Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp is the final step in identifying players for Canada’s National Junior Team for the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship. The final National Junior Team roster of 22 players will be named before Christmas.
While Stone’s invitation was expected, the fact that Ferland is one of the candidates demonstrates how well the 19-year old Brandon product has played during the first two months of the 2011-12 Western Hockey League regular season.
A fifth round draft choice of the National Hockey League’s Calgary Flames, Ferland is currently fifth in WHL scoring with seventeen goals and 42 points. Stone meanwhile leads the league with 58 points, including 24 goals.
Signed by the Ottawa Senators to an NHL Entry Level Contract in September, Stone was one of 42 players invited to Canada’s Summer Evaluation Camp in Fort McMurray last August and has been on the National Team’s radar since finishing third in the WHL scoring race in 2010-11.
The Selection Camp will begin December 10th in Calgary.
The Selection camp roster includes sixteen players from the Western Hockey League including the following:
Goal WHL Team
Tyler Bunz Medicine Hat Tigers
Mark Pysyk Edmonton Oil Kings
Ryan Murray Everett Silvertips
Joe Morrow Portland Winterhawks
Mathew Dumba Red Deer Rebels
Alex Petrovic Red Deer Rebels
Brenden Kichton Spokane Chiefs
Mark Stone Brandon Wheat Kings
Michael Ferland Brandon Wheat Kings
Brett Bulmer Kelowna Rockets
Max Reinhart Kootenay Ice
Quinton Howden Moose Jaw Warriors
Ty Rattie Portland Winterhawks
Mark McNeill Prince Albert Raiders
Brendan Gallagher Vancouver Giants
Brad Ross Portland Winterhawks
Of the 41 players invited, three are returning players – Quinton Howden (Oak Bank, Man./Moose Jaw, WHL), Jaden Schwartz (Wilcox, Sask./Colorado College, CCHA) and Mark Visentin (Waterdown, Ont./Niagara, OHL) helped Canada earn the silver medal at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y.
In addition, thirty-six of the players named to the selection camp roster were drafted in either the 2009 or 2010 NHL Entry Drafts, including fourteen first-round selections and nine second-round picks.
Hockey Canada can still add additional players prior to the opening of the selection camp on Dec. 10, in the event that NHL teams loan Canada’s National Junior Team junior-aged eligible players currently playing in the NHL.
“On behalf of Hockey Canada, we want to congratulate the players named to the camp roster today, along with their club teams, parents and minor hockey coaches that have helped them reach this level,” said Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s vice president of hockey operations/national teams. “As well, we would like to thank the Canadian Hockey League for its partnership and support of the Program of Excellence.”
“Thanks to Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, many of these players have already received the experience necessary to deal with high-paced international competition such as the World Juniors,” said Kevin Prendergast, Hockey Canada’s head scout of the men’s Program of Excellence. “The quality and skill of the 41 players invited to camp next week is a testament to the hard work, commitment and development of all those involved in the Canadian minor hockey and junior hockey systems.”