CALGARY - Canadian Hockey and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) announced today the roster of 41 players invited (roster attached - four goalkeepers, 13 defencemen and 24 forwards) to the national junior team's evaluation camp in Calgary from August 2 .
The evaluation camp is the first step in preparing the team to defend its four consecutive world titles at the 1997 World Junior Championship in Switzerland, from to . Canada's opening game is against Germany on December 27.
"The camp will give us a good evaluation of players in head-to-head competition," said Mike Babcock, national junior team head coach from the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League. "This is also an excellent opportunity for the players to show us they can play hard and adapt to the international game."
The list, which boasts six first round picks from the 1995 NHL Entry Draft, is made up of 10 players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, 12 from the Ontario Hockey League, and 19 from the Western Hockey League.
Twenty players are eligible for the 1996 NHL Draft in St. Louis on June 22, and Daniel Cleary of the Belleville Bulls would be avaiblable in 1997.
The roster also features five returning members of the 1996 World Junior Championship gold medal winning team. They are goalkeeper Marc Denis; defenceman Chris Phillips; and forwards Christian Dube, Jarome Iginla and Alyn McCauley. Dube, Iginla and McCauley were the CHL's most valuable player finalists for the 1995-96 season, which was won by Dube, the Quebec nominee.
The World Junior Championships, which Canada has won the last six of the seven competitions, features ten countries split into two groups of five in round-robin action. In the first round, Canada will face the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland and the United States, while Finland, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden and Russia will meet in the other group.
The top team from each group after the first round will advance directly to the semi-finals. The second and third place teams will cross-over to play in the quarter-finals. The bronze and gold medal games are on Saturday, .
NATIONAL JUNIOR TEAM ROSTER
1996 SUMMER EVALUATION CAMP
Goalkeepers (4) - Martin Biron, Beauport (QMJHL); Marc Denis, Chicoutimi (QMJHL); Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Halifax (QMHJL); Craig Hillier, Ottawa (OHL)
Defencemen (13) - Johnathan Aitken, Medicine Hat (WHL); Jason Doig, Granby (QMJHL); Dan Focht, Tri-City (WHL); Hugh Hamilton, Spokane (WHL); Richard Jackman, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL); Zenith Komarniski, Tri-City (WHL); Justin Kurtz, Brandon (WHL); Mario Larocque, Hull (QMJHL); Jay McKee, Niagara Falls (OHL); Derek Morris, Regina (WHL); Chris Phillips, Prince Albert (WHL); Jesse Wallin, Red Deer (WHL); Jeff Ware, Oshawa (OHL)
Forwards (24) - Arron Asham, Red Deer (WHL); Philippe Audet, Granby (QMJHL); Daniel Briere, Drummondville (QMJHL); Daniel Cleary, Belleville (OHL); Xavier Delisle, Granby (QMJHL); Boyd Devereaux, Kitchener (OHL); Christian Dube, Sherbrooke (QMJHL); Jean-Pierre Dumont, Val D'Or (QMJHL); Josh Green, Medicine Hat (WHL); Dwayne Hay, Guelph (OHL); Matt Higgins, Moose Jaw (WHL); Josh Holden, Regina (WHL); Jarome Iginla, Kamloops (WHL); Brad Isbister, Portland (WHL); Darryl Laplante, Moose Jaw (WHL); Brad Larsen, Swift Current (WHL); Trevor Letowski, Sarnia (OHL); Cameron Mann, Peterborough (OHL); Alyn McCauley, Ottawa (OHL); Ryan Pepperall, Kitchener (OHL); Geoff Peters, Niagara Falls (OHL); Byron Ritchie, Lethbridge (WHL); Peter Schaefer, Brandon (WHL); Shane Willis, Prince Albert (WHL)
Head coach - Mike Babcock (Spokane Chiefs-WHL)
Assistant coaches - Terry Bangen (McGill University-CIAU), Real Paiement (Chicoutimi Saguenees-QMJHL)