CALGARY -- Canada's National Junior team, which has won five straight gold medals at the World Junior Hockey Championship, will hold its annual summer evaluation camp at the Ice Gardens at York University in Toronto, Canadian Hockey announced Thursday.
The National Junior team is expected to invite 42 players to the August camp, a key element in the National Junior Team program, which is run in conjunction with the Canadian Hockey League and its three constituent leagues: the Western Hockey League; the Ontario Hockey League; and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
In preparation for the six-day camp, from Aug. 8-14, Barry Trapp, Canadian Hockey's director of scouting has been evaluating the play of the best 17-,18- and 19-year-old players across Canada, a process that will continue through the CHL playoffs and the Memorial Cup tournament in May in Hull, Que.
The Ice Gardens, a six-sheet complex located on the York University campus, opened in October 1996 and has quickly earned a reputation as one of the best-run, most comprehensive sports complexes in Canada. It was chosen for the camp, in part, because it includes an international-size ice pad, which is appropriate because the 1998 tournament will be held on the larger ice surface in Helsinki, Finland. As well, the complex is attractive because the junior team hopefuls will be housed in the dormitory facilities at York University.
'We are extremely proud to be hosting Canada's National Junior Team's summer evaluation camp,' said Donald Gedge. 'This is a feather in the Ice Gardens' cap and we certainly intend to help make the camp a successful one.'
Denis Hainault, Canadian Hockey's manager of international programs, said: 'The Ice Gardens is an outstanding, all-inclusive facility that will enable us to hold a first-class summer camp. Canadian Hockey is very excited that we were able to reach an agreement with this fine new complex.'