TORONTO – Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League announced on Monday that 39 of Canada’s top junior-aged hockey players (born in 1991 or later) have been invited to take part in Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp December 12-15 in Toronto.
Of the 39 players invited, three are returning players – Jared Cowen (Spokane), Calvin de Haan (Oshawa) and Ryan Ellis (Windsor) helped Canada earn the silver medal at the 2010 IIHF World U20 Championship in Saskatoon and Regina. Ellis also won a gold medal with Canada at the 2009 World U20 Championship in Ottawa. In addition, thirty-four of the players named to the selection camp roster were drafted in either the 2009 or 2010 NHL Entry Drafts, including eighteen first-round selections and four second-round picks.
Hockey Canada can still add additional players prior to the opening of the selection camp on December 12, in the event that NHL teams loan Canada’s National Junior Team junior-aged eligible players currently playing in the NHL.
“On behalf of Hockey Canada, we want to congratulate the players named to the camp roster today, along with their club teams, parents and minor hockey coaches that have helped them reach this level,” said Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s senior director of hockey operations/national teams. “As well, we would like to thank the Canadian Hockey League for its partnership and support of the Program of Excellence.”
“Thanks to Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, many of these players have already received the experience necessary to deal with high-paced international competition such as the World Juniors,” said Kevin Prendergast, Hockey Canada’s head scout of the men’s Program of Excellence. “The quality and skill of the 39 players invited to the camp next week is a testament to the hard work, commitment and development of all those involved in the Canadian minor hockey and junior hockey systems.”
Prendergast, who was named head scout in September, travelled coast to coast during the early months of the 2010-11 season, assessing players in preparation for the selection camp.
There will be two Red-White intrasquad games (December 12-13) and one game against the Canadian University National Team (December 14). The team, made up of CIS players, will be representing Canada at the 2011 Winter Universiade in Erzurum, Turkey. A select number of passes will be offered in a contest for Hockey Canada followers on its social media platforms. A draw for passes will occur on December 8.
Once the final roster is named at the conclusion of the selection camp in Toronto on December 15, Canada’s National Junior Team will play in three pre-competition games in southern Ontario against Switzerland (Oshawa, Dec. 20), Sweden (Toronto, Dec. 21) and Finland (Kitchener, Dec. 23) prior to the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship, December 26 to January 5, in Buffalo and Niagara, New York.
Canada will play its first game of the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship on Boxing Day, December 26 versus Russia, a game that will be broadcast live by TSN/RDS and on The FAN Radio Network.
Canada has medaled at twelve straight IIHF World Junior Championships, including gold medal performances in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, silver medals in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2010 and bronze medals in 2000 and 2001.
Canada’s 39-man selection camp roster
Goalkeepers: JP Anderson (Mississauga/OHL), Calvin Pickard (Seattle/WHL), Olivier Roy (Acadie-Bathurst/QMJHL), Mark Visentin (Niagara/OHL).
Defencemen: Tyson Barrie (Kelowna/WHL), Jared Cowen (Spokane/WHL), Simon Desprès (Saint John/QMJHL), Calvin de Haan (Oshawa/OHL), Ryan Ellis (Windsor/OHL), Brandon Gormley (Moncton/QMJHL), Erik Gudbranson (Kingston/OHL), Brayden McNabb (Kootenay/WHL), Ryan Murphy (Kitchener/OHL), Ryan Murray (Everett/WHL), Dylan Olsen (Minnesota-Duluth/NCAA), Mark Pysyk (Edmonton/WHL).
Forwards: Brad Ross (Portland/WHL), Carter Ashton (Regina/WHL), Michaël Bournival (Shawinigan/QMJHL), Casey Cizikas (Mississauga/OHL), Brett Connolly (Prince George/WHL), Sean Couturier (Drummondville/QMJHL), Cody Eakin (Swift Current/WHL), Marcus Foligno (Sudbury/OHL), Brendan Gallagher (Vancouver/WHL), Curtis Hamilton (Saskatoon/WHL), Joey Hishon (Owen Sound/OHL), Quinton Howden (Moose Jaw/WHL), Ryan Howse (Chilliwack/WHL), Ryan Johansen (Portland/WHL), Zach Kassian (Windsor/OHL), Louis Leblanc (Montreal/QMJHL), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Red Deer/WHL), Brandon Pirri (Rockford/AHL), Jaden Schwartz (Colorado/WCHA), Riley Sheahan (Notre Dame/NCAA), Reilly Smith (Miami University/CCHA), Linden Vey (Medicine Hat/WHL), Garrett Wilson (Owen Sound/OHL).