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Canadian Hockey Invites 31 Players to National Junior Team Camp
NR.132.97
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December 1, 1997
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TORONTO -- The Canadian Hockey Association and the Canadian Hockey League announced Monday the list of 31 players invited to the selection camp in Kitchener, ON where Canada's National Junior Team will prepare for the 1998 World Junior Hockey Championship in Helsinki, Finland.

Canada has won a record five straight gold medals, from 1993-1997, and will aim to extend that streak when they play the host team, Finland, on Dec. 25 in Helsinki in the tournament's opening game. The Sports Network (TSN) and its sister-station in Quebec, RDS, will televise all of Canada's games, as well as the playoff round games, including the gold medal game.

The selection camp will be held at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex from Dec. 12-17. At that camp, the 31-players list will be trimmed to a 22-man roster for the World Junior Championship, which runs from Dec. 25-Jan. 3. The final roster will be announced in Kitchener on Wednesday, Dec. 17.

The 31-player roster includes two returning gold medalists, both defenceman from the Western Hockey League: Cory Sarich of the Saskatoon Blades and Jesse Wallin of the Red Deer Rebels. Of the four goaltenders, 10 defencemen and 17 forwards invited, 11 players each have been selected from the WHL and the Ontario Hockey League, seven from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, one from the U.S. college ranks and one from the National Hockey League.

Head coach Réal Paiement, of the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, will work with assistants Peter DeBoer of the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League and Terry Bangen, who also was an assistant coach with the gold medal-winning National Junior Team in 1996.

"Selecting the best 22-player team for the World Junior Championship is always a difficult process because the talent pool in Canada is so deep and because of the importance Canadians place on our country's performance in major international tournaments," said Bob Nicholson, Canadian Hockey's vice-president, hockey operations. "Our performance record demonstrates that our scouting system is sound. Our focus is not just on raw talent, but on other qualities players bring, such as leadership and the ability to work well in a true 'team' environment."

Paiement said he's pleased with the quality of the players selected.

"As a coaching staff, we're looking forward to step two of our process -- the selection camp," said Paiement. "The emphasis will be on putting forward a gold-medal performance, not on winning the gold medal. We've got a great tradition behind us and a great journey ahead of us and we're all excited about the challenge."

The six-day selection camp includes two Red and White intra-squad games, one on Dec. 13, the other on Dec. 14, as well as exhibition games against university all-star teams on Dec. 15 and Dec. 16. The National Junior Team leaves from Toronto on Dec. 17 for Sweden for a six-day pre-competition camp, which includes exhibition games against the Swedish National Junior Team on Dec. 20, as well as Switzerland on Dec. 21.

The National Junior Team coaching staff and Barry Trapp, Canadian Hockey's director of scouting, will evaluate the National Junior Team invitees over the course of the selection camp and decide which players will represent Canada in Finland.

"It's crucial to be able to develop excellent team chemistry quickly in a short-term experience such as the World Junior Hockey Championship," said Nicholson. "At this high and intense level of international competition with such a strong field of competitors, preparation is also a key factor for the World Junior Championship."

Canada's 1998 World Junior Selection Camp Roster

Kitchener, Ontario - December 12-

Name H/W Birth Date 1997-98 Team NHL Draft
Goaltenders/Gardiens de but
Roberto Luongo 6'2 185 Apr. Val d'Or (LHJMQ) NY Islanders
Patrick Desrochers 6'3 190 Oct. Sarnia(OHL) Eligible '98
Evan Lindsay 6'2 192
Prince Albert (WHL) Calgary
Mathieu Garon 6'1 193 Jan. Victoriaville (LHJMQ) Montreal
Defence/Défense
Brad Ference 6'3 190 Apr. Spokane (WHL) Vancouver
Eric Brewer 6'3 196 Apr. Prince George (WHL) NY Islanders
Jesse Wallin 6'2 190 Mar. Red Deer (WHL) Detroit
Zenith Komarniski 6' 190 Aug. Tri-City (WHL) Vancouver
Sean Blanchard 6' 201 Mar. Ottawa (OHL) LA Kings
Brad Stuart 6'2 215 Nov. Regina (WHL) Eligible '98
Cory Sarich 6'3 190 Aug. Saskatoon (WHL) Buffalo
Mike Van Ryn 6'2 186
Michigan (CCHA) Eligible '98
Nick Boynton 6'2 210 Jan. Ottawa (OHL) Washington
Remi Royer 6'2 200 Feb. Rouyn (QMJHL) Chicago
Forwards/Avants
Manny Malhotra 6'1 210
Guelph (OHL) Eligible '98
Dan Cleary 6' 200 Dec. NHL Chicago
Daniel Tkaczuk 6' 195
Barrie (OHL) Calgary
Steve Bégin 6' 188
Val d'Or (LHJMQ) Calgary
Matt Cooke 6'1 195 Sept. Windsor (OHL) Vancouver
Vincent Lecavalier 6'4 180 Apr. Rimouski (QMJHL) Eligible '98
Daniel Corso 5'10 161 Apr. Victoriaville (LHJMQ) St. Louis
Brett McLean 5'10 187 Aug. Kelowna (WHL) Dallas
Jean-Pierre Dumont 6' 195 Apr. Val d'Or (LHJMQ) NY Islanders
Jason Ward 6'2 193 Jan. Niagara Falls (OHL) Montreal
Josh Holden 6' 170 Jan. Regina (WHL) Vancouver
Brian Willsie 6' 179 Mar. Guelph (OHL) Colorado
Stefan Cherneski 6' 200 Sept. Brandon (WHL) NY Rangers
Jay Legault 6'4 206
London (OHL) Anaheim
Matt Bradley 6'1 188
Kingston (OHL) San Jose
Darren Van Oene 6'3 220 Jan. Brandon (WHL) Buffalo
Colin Pepperall 5'11 175 Apr. Erie (OHL) NY Rangers
Staff/Personnel
Denis Hainault Director, High Performance
Réal Paiement (QMJHL) Head coach
Peter DeBoer (OHL) Assistant Coach
Terry Bangen Assistant Coach
Rob Cookson Video coach
Barry Trapp Director of scouting
Blaine Whyte Equipment manager
Darcy Bishop Athletic therapist
Dr. Donald Plouffe Team physician
Wayne Halliwell Sport psychologist
John MacKinnon Manager, communications

For more information:

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4564
fdupont@hockeycanada.ca

Morgan Bell
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
403-284-6427
mbell@hockeycanada.ca

   
 

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