With less than two months until the puck drops on the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), has announced a roster of 46 players who have earned an invitation to Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp, set for Nov. 16-Dec. 13 in Red Deer, Alta.
The roster selection was led by Scott Salmond (Creston, B.C.), senior vice-president of national teams for Hockey Canada, with assistance from Ben Shutron (Orleans, Ont.), manager of national teams for Hockey Canada, and Alan Millar (Tottenham, Ont./Moose Jaw, WHL), the U20 lead for the Program of Excellence management group. Head coach André Tourigny (Nicolet, Que./Ottawa, OHL) and assistant coaches Michael Dyck (Lethbridge, Alta./Vancouver, WHL) and Mitch Love (Quesnel, B.C./Saskatoon, WHL) provided input, along with coaches and general managers across the CHL.
The players, including five goaltenders, 15 defencemen and 26 forwards, will compete for a chance to represent Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, Dec. 25-Jan. 5 in Edmonton, Alta.
Among the 46 players are six returnees who won gold at the 2020 World Juniors – Quinton Byfield (Newmarket, Ont./Sudbury, OHL), Bowen Byram (Cranbrook, B.C./Vancouver, WHL), Dylan Cozens (Whitehorse, Y.T./Lethbridge, WHL), Jamie Drysdale (Toronto/Erie, OHL), Connor McMichael (Ajax, Ont./London, OHL) and Dawson Mercer (Bay Roberts, N.L./Chicoutimi, QMJHL).
“Although this has been a difficult year for our athletes and staff, we are excited to unveil the 46 players who will compete for a spot on Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship,” said Salmond. “We know our athletes are excited for the opportunity to defend gold on home ice this year, and we expect a highly competitive selection camp with a number of difficult decisions to be made when it comes time to select the players who will wear the Maple Leaf in Edmonton in December.”
Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp will be held at the Westerner Park Centrium, home of the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League (WHL). To ensure the health and safety of all participants and the community at large, Hockey Canada will be closely following enhanced measures around testing and team protocols.
The selection camp will include practices and three intrasquad games, as well as six games against a team of U SPORTS all-stars, between Nov. 28 and Dec. 13 before the team enters the bubble in Edmonton in preparation for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship. The camp will take place in a cohort bubble and will be closed to the public and media. Details about media availability throughout selection camp will be announced at a later date.
“As we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, Hockey Canada has taken important steps to maintain the health and safety of our National Junior Team athletes and staff, as well as the community at large, during selection camp and throughout the World Juniors,” said Tom Renney, chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “As much as we would enjoy allowing fans into the building to support Team Canada throughout the camp, we need to be responsible as we look to keep all parties safe before teams enter the bubble in Edmonton.”
The 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship begins on Christmas Day with three games before Canada kicks off its tournament schedule on Dec. 26 against Germany at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada, will broadcast all 28 tournament games and the 10 pre-tournament games that begins Dec. 20. TSN Radio will also provide comprehensive tournament coverage, including all Team Canada pre-tournament and tournament games through to the gold medal game.