OTTAWA, ON – Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) announced on Wednesday that 38 of Canada’s best junior-aged hockey players (born in 1989 or later) have been invited to take part in Canada’s National Junior selection camp from December 11-15, 2008 at the SBP Arena in Ottawa, ON and the Robert-Guertin Arena in Gatineau, QC.
Among the 38 players invited, 18 are currently playing in the Western Hockey League, including 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship gold medalists Zach Boychuk (Lethbridge Hurricanes) and Thomas Hickey (Seattle Thunderbirds). Of the players selected to participate at Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp, only six are eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft including Western Hockey League NHL Top Prospects Evander Kane (Vancouver Giants) and Brayden Schenn (Brandon Wheat Kings). In the past 10 years WHL players have made up 40% of Team Canada’s National Junior roster, and 60% of Team Canada’s defenceman, in the last 10 years, played in the WHL.
Four of the 38 players invited, won gold medals at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship in Pardubice, Czech Republic. Thirty-one of the players named to the selection camp roster were drafted in either the 2007 or 2008 NHL Entry Draft, including thirteen first-round selections and eight second-round picks.
Hockey Canada may add additional players prior to the opening of the selection camp on December 11, in the event that any NHL teams loan Canada’s National Junior Team junior-aged eligible players currently playing in the NHL.
“On behalf of Hockey Canada, I would like to congratulate the players named today, along with their club teams, their parents and all the minor hockey coaches and officials who helped them along with the way,” said Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s senior director of men’s national teams. “I would also like to make special note of the great partnership that Hockey Canada has with the Canadian Hockey League, which is essential to the success of the Program of Excellence.”
“Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, which includes our under-17 and under-18 programs, has provided many of these players with the preparation and experience for to deal with the rigors of the upcoming World Juniors and high paced international competition,” said Al Murray, Hockey Canada’s head scout for men’s national teams. “The quality and skill of the 38 players invited to the camp next week is a testament of the hard work, commitment and development of all those involved in the Canadian minor hockey and junior hockey system.”
Murray traveled coast to coast during the first part of the 2008-09 hockey season assessing players in preparation for the selection camp.
WHL Players invited to Team Canada's National Junior Team Selection Camp
SELECTION CAMP INFORMATION
Players and staff will travel to Ottawa on Thursday, December 11, and will take to the ice that same evening at the SBP Arena in Ottawa (view the full game schedule at www.hockeycanada.ca).
The Broncos are on the road this afternoon at 1pm. Something's gotta give tonight in Prince Albert. The Raiders have lost eight in a row while the Broncos haven't won on the road since October 28th and have dropped five straight away from the i-plex.
We're on the air at 7pm with the pre-game show, 7:30pm with the play-by-play. The Broncos aren't expecting much help on the injury front for this one. They could four to five players scratched. One may be a game-time decision.
It's off to get coffee for the staff and catch the bus....