CALGARY, ALBERTA - Goaltender Pascal Leclaire, of Répentigny, QC, suffered a groin injury at the National Junior Team Evaluation Camp on Friday, August 4, 2000 and will be returning home for treatments, the Canadian Hockey Association and the Canadian Hockey League announced on Saturday. Rob Zepp, of Scarborough, ON, has been added to the roster.
Leclaire, of the Halifax Mooseheads, starred for Canada's National Under 18 Team at the 1999 Four Nations Tournament in Slovakia. He also attended the National Junior Team's selection camp in December, 1999. The 17 year old goaltender was injured during the first intersquad game on August 4. The team medical staff reevaluated him Saturday morning and concluded that we would be unable to return to the ice this week.
Rob Zepp played for the OHL's Plymouth Whalers this past season, leading the team all the way to the OHL final where they eventually lost against Barrie. During the regular season, Zepp logged 53 games and finished with a 2.38 goals against average. Zepp was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 4th round, 99th overall, at the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. Zepp will join the team Sunday, an off day at camp.
The team also confirmed that Swift Current forward Nathan Smith, of Strathcona, AB would also be leaving camp after spraining his ankle on August 4, 2000.
Forty players are now on hand as the National Junior Team begins the process that leads to the eventual selection of the twenty-two players who will represent Canada at the 2001 World Junior Hockey Championship in Russia from December 26, 2000 to January 4, 2001.
The CHA's Director, Scouting, Barry Trapp and the coaching staff will monitor and evaluate the players at this week's evaluation camp in Calgary, as well as others through the first half of the season to determine a list of 32 players will be invited to a December camp.
Any interview requests can be made on site at the Father Bauer Olympic Arena, or by calling André Brin, Manager, Media Relations at 403-777-3609 or 403-703-8791 (cellular phone).