CALGARY, ALBERTA – Forty-four of Canada’s best junior-aged hockey players, including twenty two NHL first round draft picks, will be at Calgary’s Father David Bauer Olympic Arena August 12-19, 2004 for Canada’s National Junior Team Development Camp, Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League announced on Tuesday.
The roster of forty-four players, previously announced on June 22, was selected in conjunction with Team Canada’s coaching staff and Hockey Canada’s Head Scout Blair Mackasey who spent the 2003-04 season monitoring and evaluating Canadian junior-aged players across Canada. Mackasey will oversee player evaluation at the August Camp and will continue to monitor these players and other eligible players throughout the upcoming hockey season prior to inviting a list of players to Canada’s National Junior Team's Selection Camp in Winnipeg, MB, December 10-15, 2004.
Hockey Canada announced today that Marc-Antoine Poulliot from the Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL) will have limited participation during the camp due to injury/rehabilitation. Head Scout Blair Mackasey and the coaching staff have named Marc-Andre Bernier from the Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) as his replacement.
The 2005 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship will be held in Grand Forks, North Dakota and Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA from December 25, 2004 through January 4, 2005.
The practices and intersquad games at the August Camp in Calgary are open to the public, free of charge (schedule attached), and will be under the direction of Head Coach Brent Sutter (Red Deer, WHL) and assistant coaches Peter DeBoer (Kitchener, OHL) and Jim Hulton (Kingston, OHL).
Twelve players (Shawn Belle, Braydon Coburn, Dion Phaneuf, Brent Seabrook, Jeff Carter, Jeremy Colliton, Sidney Crosby, Nigel Dawes, Stephen Dixon, Ryan Getzlaf, Michael Richards, Anthony Stewart) attending this camp were members of Canada’s silver medal team in Helsinki and Hameenlinna, Finland at the 2004 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.
Forty-two of the forty-four played in the Canadian Hockey League last season (23 in the Western Hockey League (WHL), 10 in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and 9 in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)). One player (Wes O’Neill) played in the NCAA, and another (Travis Zajac) played Junior “A” hockey in the BCHL.
Forty-one of the forty-four players at camp are drafted by NHL teams. One (Sidney Crosby) is not eligible until the 2005 NHL Entry Draft while two players (Patrik Coulombe, Danny Syvret) are undrafted free agents.
Of the forty-four players, thirty-eight players have previous POE (Program of Excellence) experience, with Braydon Coburn having participated on 5 different POE teams.
Canada’s National Junior Team is a key component of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence (POE), which has been in operation since 1982. The POE allows Hockey Canada to identify and train many of Canada’s top young hockey players, to provide them with the opportunities to measure and refine their skills against top caliber Canadian players and in international competitions.