REGINA, Sask. – Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) announced on Wednesday that 36 of Canada’s top junior-aged hockey players (born in 1990 or later) have been invited to take part in Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp from December 12-16, 2009 in Regina, Sask.
Of the 36 players invited, seven are returning players – having won gold medals at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa. Thirty-one of the players named to the selection camp roster were drafted in either the 20 NHL Entry Draft, including fourteen first-round selections and six second-round picks.
The NHL’s St. Louis Blues have confirmed that they will loan defenceman Alex Pietrangelo (King City, Ont.) to Canada’s National Junior Team, and he will be at the selection camp in Regina.
Hockey Canada may still add additional players prior to the opening of the selection camp on December 12, in the event that any other 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 who helped them along with the way to get where they are today,” said Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s senior director of men’s national teams. “As we look forward to a very competitive camp, I would also like to make special note of the great partnership that Hockey Canada has with the Canadian Hockey League, and thank CHL teams and fans for their support of the Program of Excellence.”
“Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, which includes our under-17 and under-18 programs, has already provided many of these players with the preparation and experience 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 36 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 early months of the 2008-09 hockey season, assessing players in preparation for the selection camp.
SELECTION CAMP INFORMATION
Players and staff will travel to Regina on Saturday, December 12. There will be two red-white intrasquad games and one game against a team comprised of CIS players from the University of Saskatchewan and University of Regina.
Once the team is named at the conclusion of the selection camp in Regina, Canada’s National Junior Team will play in three pre-competition games prior to the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Canada will play its first game of the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship on Boxing Day, December 26 versus Latvia, a game that will be broadcast LIVE by TSN/RDS and on The FAN Radio Network (check local listings).
Canada has medaled at eleven straight IIHF World Junior Championships, including gold medal performances in 2005, 2006, 2007, 20, silver medals in 1999, 2002, 20 and bronze medals in 20.