(ISN) – Two members of the Kelowna Rockets will have the chance to make Team Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships, being held in Toronto and Montreal.
Captain Madison Bowey and leading scorer Rourke Chartier have both been invited to attend Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp, beginning Dec. 11 at the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence in Toronto, Ont.
“Both Madison and Rourke fully deserve this opportunity,” said Rockets President/GM Bruce Hamilton, also a member of the Team Canada management committee. “Madison was at the summer camp and has had a great start to the season. Rourke wasn’t on the radar screen at all because of his age, but now with 29 goals he has earned his position at the camp.”
Fellow Rockets Nick Merkley, who at 17 is second to Chartier in WHL scoring, along with Tyson Baillie, whose 19 goals is third in the WHL, were under consideration, but were not named to the tryout camp.
“We’re going with an older team and in Merkley’s case he’s going to have his opportunities in the future,” said Hamilton. “We kept the camp to under 30 players because we are still waiting to hear on four NHL players. Tyson’s having a great year but he just fell short.”
Hamilton was in Montreal for the announcement as part of the Team Canada Program of Excellence management committee for the second straight year.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “I really like the players we have in the selection camp. A lot of time has gone into this process and we are in this to win it.”
The selection camp roster includes two goaltenders, 10 defencemen and 17 forwards. Canada’s final roster will include 22 players, and must be finalized by Dec. 25.
“I would like to congratulate the 29 players who received an invitation today,” said Ryan Jankowski, director of player personnel with Hockey Canada. “There is a tremendous amount of depth in junior hockey in Canada, and to be among this group is a tremendous accomplishment. I would also like to thank the general managers and coaches of the Canadian Hockey League for their great support throughout this process.”
In total, 27 of the players were drafted in either the 2013 or 2014 NHL Entry Drafts, including 15 first-round selections and seven second-round picks.
“This is a special IIHF World Junior Championship, and the opportunity to play at home in front of Canadian fans should make for a very competitive selection camp,” said Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations and national teams with Hockey Canada. “We’re looking forward to getting the camp underway, and selecting 22 players who will make Canada proud with the performance this holiday season. I also want to say a huge thank you to Ryan Jankowski, Bruce Hamilton, and the rest of the Program of Excellence management group for their time, their passion and their wisdom.”