MONTREAL, Que. – Hockey Canada has invited 30 players to its second annual NextGen Prospects’ Camp. The camp, which began April 22 and runs through the 27th in Montreal, Que., serves as a development and identification camp for the nation’s upcoming talent.
Since 2010, sledge hockey registration numbers have nearly tripled, making the game more accessible and resulting in engaging more youth in the sport. Of the 30 players selected to take part in the NextGen camp, 20 are under the age of 20.
Three players who participated in the inaugural NextGen Prospects’ Camp in February 2016 were named to Canada’s National Sledge Team for the 2016-17 season, and participated at the 2016 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in December where they skated to silver – James Dunn (Wallacetown, Ont.), Antoine Lehoux (Thetford Mines, Que.), and Zach Savage (Westlock, Alta.). The three will bring their experience to this year’s NextGen camp in Montreal.
Brandon Reid (Kirkland, Que.) is the camp head coach. He worked as an assistant coach during the inaugural NextGen camp in 2016, and was part of the national team’s coaching staff before joining the Aalborg Pirates in Denmark as head coach in May 2016. He will be joined behind the bench by Russ Herrington (Unionville, Ont.), who recently struck gold as an assistant coach for Team Canada at the IPC World Para Hockey Championship. Helping at the camp as a skills consultant is national team alumnus Jean Labonté (Gatineau, Que.), and former national development team member, Kris Dutkiewicz (Kitchener, Ont.), as goaltending consultant.
Following the camp, Hockey Canada will select a pared-down group to represent their country in a three-game series against the United States as part of the Défi Sportif AlterGo Games in Montreal. The games will take place April 28-30 at the Howie-Morenz Arena.