December 3, 2012, CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), announced Monday that 37 of Canada’s top junior-aged players (born in 1993 or later) have been invited to take part in Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp, Dec. 11-13, 2012 at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.
11 of the 37 players named to the National Junior Team selection camp currently play in the Western Hockey League, including defencemen Mathew Dumba (Red Deer), Derrick Pouliot (Portland), Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton) and Morgan Rielly (Moose Jaw), who were all selected among the Top 8 picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.
Rounding out the WHL players invited were goaltender Laurent Brossoit (Edmonton), defenceman Tyler Wotherspoon (Portland) along with forwards JC Lipon (Kamloops), Mark McNeill (Prince Albert), Ty Rattie (Portland), Hunter Shinkaruk (Medicine Hat) and Colton Sissons (Kelowna). Red Deer Rebels alumnus Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who now plays for the Edmonton Oilers, is also among the camp invitees.
Of the 37 players invited, six are returning players – Dougie Hamilton (Toronto, Ont./Niagara, OHL), Scott Harrington (Kingston, Ont./London, OHL), Jonathan Huberdeau (St-Jérôme, Que./Saint John, QMJHL), Boone Jenner (Dorchester, Ont./Oshawa, OHL), Mark Scheifele (Kitchener, Ont./ Barrie, OHL) and Ryan Strome (Mississauga, Ont./ Niagara, OHL) helped Canada earn a bronze medal at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship in Alberta. A seventh potential returning player, Ryan Murray (White City, Sask./Everett, WHL), is unavailable due to an injury.
In total, 31 of the players named to the selection camp roster were drafted in either the 2011 or 2012 NHL Entry Drafts, including 13 first-round selections and eight second-round picks.
“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 Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s senior director of hockey operations/national teams.
“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 37 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.”
Prendergast travelled coast to coast during the early months of the 2012-13 season, assessing players in preparation for the selection camp.
“On behalf of the Canadian Hockey League, I would like to congratulate all players who have been named to the selection camp roster,” said David Branch, president of the CHL. “This is a tremendous honour, and all have worked extremely hard to get to where they are today.”
There will be one Red-White intrasquad game (Dec. 11) and two games against teams from Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) on Dec. 12 and 13. The CIS teams will be comprised of players from the University of Calgary, University of Alberta and Mount Royal University. In lieu of purchasing tickets to attend the game, fans will be asked to present their Club Hockey Canada card or make a donation to either a local food bank (dried goods) or the Hockey Canada Foundation. Practices will be open to the public, free of charge.
Canada’s National Junior Team will depart for Europe on Dec. 15, and play in two pre-competition games in Helsinki prior to the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Canada will play its first game of the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship on Boxing Day, Dec. 26 against Finland, a game that will be broadcast LIVE by TSN/RDS.
Canada has medalled at 14 consecutive IIHF World Junior Championships, including gold medal performances in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, silver medals in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2010 and 2011 and bronze medals in 2000, 2001 and 2012.
For more information on the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, please visit www.hockeycanada.ca, or follow along via social media at www.facebook.com/hockeycanada, www.twitter.com/hockeycanada and www.twitter.com/hc_teamcanada.