CALGARY, Alta. – A mix of experienced veterans and young players make up the 30-player roster of invitees who will be hitting the ice for Canada’s National Sledge Team development camp Aug. 24-29 at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary.
Hockey Canada announced the roster, which includes four goaltenders, eight defencemen and 18 forwards, and features 15 players who competed for Canada during the 2014-15 season, as well as 14 who helped Canada win a bronze medal at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
“Our focus during this August camp is really on development,” said Shawn Bullock, senior manager of hockey operations and national teams with Hockey Canada. “We have a great mix of veterans and young players, and this is a first step for us to not only evaluate the group’s fitness levels and on-ice performance, but to also invest in them to prepare us for a successful season ahead.”
The players will be on the ice for daily practices, take part in a scrimmage and participate in off-ice fitness training, along with workshops to assist with on-ice and off-ice preparations for the upcoming season.
Bullock also confirmed that Ken Babey (Saskatoon, Sask.) will return as head coach of Canada’s National Sledge Team for the 2015-16 season. He joined the team as head coach last November, and helped Canada to a bronze medal at the 2015 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Leduc, Alta., and silver at the 2015 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship in Buffalo, N.Y.
“With the profile of the sport, and the profile of our sledge hockey program continuing to grow, the talent pool has grown across Canada, and with Ken Babey back behind the bench we look forward to a fantastic year ahead of us,” said Bullock.
Following the development camp, players will be invited to Canada’s National Sledge Team selection camp from Sept. 27-Oct. 4, in Calgary. Alta.
This season, Canada’s National Sledge Team will be competing at tournaments around the world, including the Canadian-hosted 2016 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in January.