CALGARY, ALBERTA – On Friday, Hockey Canada, along with the Canadian Hockey League, named the 22 players that will form Canada’s National Under-18 Team for the Under-18 Junior World Cup in Slovakia, August 10-15, 2004.
Canada will be pursuing its 8th international Under-18 Junior World Cup gold medal having captured gold at seven of the previous eight events that have been held each year in the month of August.
The naming of the 22 player roster comes after a week-long development camp held in Calgary, AB which saw 40 of Canada’s top under-18 players vying for a spot on Team Canada. Hockey Canada’s Head Scout, Blair Mackasey conducted evaluations throughout the week, along with Head Coach Dave Cameron (Toronto St.Michael’s, OHL) and assistants Shawn Camp (Sarnia, OHL) and Benoit Groulx (Gatineau, QMJHL).
"As a coaching staff, we are extremely pleased with the intensity and caliber of the players we had at this camp," said Cameron. "This group of young men that we have chosen, will be an excellent representation for our country at the Junior World Cup. We feel confident that this team will be focused on its quest for a gold medal.”
Canada’s Under-18 program and the Summer Development Camp are part of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence beginning with the regional Under-17 teams and ending with the National Junior Team. The primary objectives of the Under-18 program are to identify, evaluate and condition players to the rigors of international competition by giving them their first exposure to international hockey and travel. Many of these Under-18 players will move on to play with Canada’s National Junior team, and many will be high NHL draft picks in 2005.
Eighteen players were released from Canada’s Under-18 Development Camp on Thursday morning.
These released players will continue to be evaluated and monitored along with other Under-18 Canadian players for possible future involvement in the Program of Excellence. This could come as early as the 2005 IIHF World Under-18 Championship on April 14-24, 2005 in Ceske Budejovice and Plzen, Czech Republic.