Hockey Canada Network |
From Timmins to Toronto: 2010 U17 Alumni Try to Crack Canada's World Junior Roster
Matthew Nicholson
December 14, 2010

Despite this, a trio of 17-year-olds, Ryan Murray, Ryan Murphy, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, are battling for roster spots this week at Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp, just one year removed from battling for gold at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

The three played for different teams in Timmins – Murray captained West, Nugent-Hopkins starred for Pacific and Murphy helped Ontario reach the gold medal game – but got the same international experience, helping their case for a spot at this year’s World Juniors.

“The best part about the (under-17) tournament is learning what you are going to be up against as your career progresses,” Murray says during a break in camp. “You get to play against the best players from around the world in your age group, and it shows you how hard you have to work to get ahead.”

Even after wearing the ‘C’ for West in Timmins – and again this summer with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team – Murray admits his focus was more on his second season with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips than it was on playing this Christmas in Buffalo.

“For me the National Junior Team was a goal,” says the White City, Sask., native, “but it wasn’t the first thing on my mind. (I know that) so many more players get that (U17) international experience than are able to at the World Juniors.”

Thus far in Toronto the three have been noticeable on the ice, for more than just the full cages they’re forced to wear as under-18s. Their play helped them survive the first round of releases on Tuesday morning, keeping alive the possibility for all three of wearing the red and white when the first puck drops on Boxing Day.

It’s then, Murray says, that the lessons learned at last year’s World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will come in handy.

“The international experience doesn’t help as much in the camp, other than getting to know what you are up against,” he says. “Once you are playing in the tournament, that is when it will be useful.”

Indeed, there is no shortage of under-17 experience on the ice at the MasterCard Centre – of the 40 players who earned invites to camp, 31 played in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, meaning there isn’t much of an advantage among the Canadians.

But if Murray, Murphy and Nugent-Hopkins are lucky enough to survive Wednesday’s final releases, they can draw upon their memories of the Russians, Finns and Swedes from Timmins to help them as they aim to help Canada to a 16th World Junior gold.

And how about this year’s World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Winnipeg?

“I think everybody will enjoy it,“ Murray says. “It is good, fast hockey, and fans get a chance to see the stars of tomorrow.”

For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada

Jason LaRose
Manager, Content Services
Hockey Canada

Kristen Lipscombe
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada

2014 WWU18C: CAN 5 – USA 1
Mar 30, 2014
U18 women win gold.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 1 – RUS 0 (OT)
Mar 29, 2014
Canada edges Russia in overtime.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 5 – CZE 0
Mar 26, 2014
Canadians shut out Czechs.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 7 – FIN 0
Mar 24, 2014
U18 women blank Finland.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 7 – JPN 1
Mar 23, 2014
Canada starts Worlds with win
2014 PARA: CAN 3 – NOR 0 (Bronze)
Mar 15, 2014
Billy Bridges scored a pair of goals to lead Canada to a Paralympic bronze.
2014 PARA: USA 3 – CAN 0 (Semifinal)
Mar 13, 2014
Corbin Watson made seven saves, but Canada will play for Paralympic bronze.
2014 PARA: CAN 1 – CZE 0 (Preliminary)
Mar 11, 2014
Westlake scored the lone goal to help Canada to a perfect preliminary round.
2014 PARA: CAN 4 – NOR 0 (Preliminary)
Mar 09, 2014
Adam Dixon scored twice to lead Canada to its second straight win in Sochi.
2014 PARA: CAN 10 – SWE 1 (Preliminary)
Mar 08, 2014
Gale, Dixon and Rempel had four points each to lead Canada to a win.
2014 PARA: Welcome to Sochi
Mar 02, 2014
Canada’s National Sledge Team has arrived ahead of the Paralympics.
2010 OLYW: Flag Raising
Feb 10, 2010
Canada's National Women's Team taking part in the Flag Raising ceremony at the Olympic Village in Vancouver, B.C.
Photo Credit: