NORTH YORK, ON -- Joe Thornton and Richard Jackman, both members of Canada's gold medal-winning National Junior team at the 1997 World Junior Hockey Championship, will not participate in the team's summer evaluation camp, Canadian Hockey announced Friday.
The Boston Bruins, who selected Thornton first overall in the National Hockey League's entry draft of junior-age players last month, informed Canadian Hockey officials they did not want the 18-year-old centre to take part in the camp. Thornton was introduced to the Boston media late this week.
Jackman, a teammate of Thornton's last season with the Sault Ste-Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League as well as with the National Junior Team, is suffering from strep throat and bronchitis and remained at home. Forward Stefan Cherneski of the Brandon Wheat Kings is recovering from an abdominal strain injury suffered last season with the Western Hockey League team and was unable to attend the camp.
Defenceman Brad Stuart of the Regina Pats was diagnosed with pneumonia and returned home after registering to participate in the camp. Three players were called in as replacements for the four players unable to take part: Forwards Brett McLean of the WHL's Kelowna Rockets and Etienne Drapeau of the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League; along with defenceman Brad Ference of the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL
The changes leave 40 players at camp, split into two 20-player groups, Team Red and Team White. Each group will practise daily during the six-day camp, which will include intra squad games on Saturday, August 9, Sunday, August 10 and Tuesday, August 11. All intra squad games begin at 5:00 p.m. On Wednesday, August 13, Teams Red and White will play exhibition games against the Nippon Paper Cranes, a touring Japanese club team coached by Don MacAdam of Morell, PEI. Team Red will play at 4:00 p.m., while the Team White game begins at 7:00 p.m.
Canadian Hockey will invite 32 players to a selection camp in early December, from which a 22-man roster will be chosen by head coach Real Paiement of the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and assistants Peter DeBoer of the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, and Rick Carriere of the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. Barry Trapp, Canadian Hockey's chief scout, is also a key part of the team selection process.