Western Hockey League will send 14 players to the Selection Camp

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(ISN) – MONTREAL, Que. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Monday that 29 players have 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.

The roster includes two goaltenders, 10 defencemen and 17 forwards. Canada’s final roster for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto and Montreal will include 22 players, and must be finalized by Dec. 25.

This year, the Western Hockey League will send 14 players to the Selection Camp. Josh Morrissey (Calgary, AB / Prince Albert Raiders), Nic Petan (Delta, BC / Portland Winterhawks) and Sam Reinhart (West Vancouver, BC / Kootenay ICE) will all return to the camp after representing Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden. Last year, nine WHL players attended the Selection Camp.

Eric Comrie (Edmonton, AB / Tri-City Americans) is one of two goaltenders attending camp while Rourke Chartier (Saskatoon, SK / Kelowna Rockets), Morgan Klimchuk (Calgary, AB / Regina Pats), Brayden Point (Calgary, AB / Moose Jaw Warriors) and Jake Virtanen (Abbotsford, BC / Calgary Hitmen) will all be part of the forward group attending.

Seven of the 10 defencemen attending the Selection Camp hail from the WHL. In addition to Morrissey, Madison Bowey (Winnipeg, MB / Kelowna Rockets), Haydn Fleury (Carlyle, SK / Red Deer Rebels), Dillon Heatherington (Calgary, AB / Swift Current Broncos), Joe Hicketts (Kamloops, BC / Victoria Royals), Travis Sanheim (Elkhorn, MB / Calgary Hitmen) and Shea Theodore (Aldergrove, BC / Seattle Thunderbirds) will all challenge for a spot on Team Canada.

In total, 26 of the players named to Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp 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.”

“On behalf of the Canadian Hockey League, congratulations and best of luck to all of the players invited to Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp,” said David Branch, president of the Canadian Hockey League. “The partnership between Hockey Canada and the CHL is a special one, and we’re excited to watch our players wear the Canadian jersey with pride in Toronto and Montreal.”

“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 regards to eligible players currently in the NHL, Hockey Canada will continue to communicate with NHL teams and is hopeful players may still be made available to Canada’s National Junior Team prior to the NHL’s roster freeze deadline on Dec. 19.

Canada opens the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship on Boxing Day when it faces Slovakia in Montreal. All of Canada’s games at the World Juniors will be broadcast live by TSN and RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada; check local listings for broadcast times in your area.