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Thirty-Four Players Invited to Team Canada's National Junior Team Selection Camp in Vancouver, BC
NR.159.05
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December 5, 2005
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VANCOUVER, BC – Hockey Canada and the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) announced on Monday that 34 of Canada’s best junior-aged hockey players (born in 1986 or later) have been invited to take part in Canada’s National Junior Selection Camp from December 11-16, 2005 at PNE in Vancouver, BC.

Of the 34 players invited, 26 attended Canada’s August National Junior Team Development Camp in Whistler/Vancouver, BC, where they mixed with Canada’s Men’s Olympic NHL camp players. Seven players invited to next week’s Selection Camp were not at the August Development Camp (G - Pogge, D – Pokulok, Schultz; F – Brassard, Esposito, Setoguchi, Toews).

“Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, including our Under-17 and Under-18 Programs, has provided many of these players the preparation and experience for to deal with the rigors of the upcoming World Juniors and high paced international competition,” said Blair Mackasey, Director of Program of Excellence, Hockey Canada. “The quality and skill of the 34 players invited to the camp next week is a testament of the hard work, commitment and development of all those involved in the Canadian minor hockey and junior hockey system.”

Team Canada’s Director, Player Personnel, Blair Mackasey traveled coast to coast during the first part of the hockey season assessing players in preparation of the Selection Camp.

SELECTION CAMP INFORMATION

Players and staff will travel to Vancouver on Sunday, December 11th, and will take to the ice on Dec. 12th at the PNE in Vancouver (view the full schedule at www.hockeycanada.ca). A formal media availability for all of Canada’s players and staff will take place at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum / PNE at 1:00pm PT on Sunday, December 11th.

All practices at the Selection Camp, Dec. 12-15th are open to the public free of charge. Tickets for the December 13th and 14th intersquad games, as well as the game versus the University of British Columbia Men’s Team on December 15th are on sale now for $15.00 plus service charges (Tickets are available at the Pacific Coliseum Box Office two hours prior to game time or in advance at TicketMaster at (604) 280-4400 or online at www.ticketmaster.ca). As a special bonus for students wanting to cheer on their team, tickets to the December 15th Team Canada versus UBC game will be $10.00 for current UBC students.

Canada will play its first game of the 2006 World Juniors on Boxing Day, December 26th versus Finland at 4:00pm PT (7:00pm ET), which will be broadcast LIVE by TSN/RDS and on the FAN radio network (check local listings).

Canada has medaled in seven straight World Junior Championships including: a gold medal performance in 2005, silver medals in 2004, 2003, 2002, 1999 and bronze medals in 20.

At the 2006 IIHF World Junior Championship in British Columbia, Canada will look to win back to back gold medals for the first time since Canada’s string of five consecutive World Junior Championship titles (1993-1997).The team will be looking for its first gold medal when the event is held in Canada, since 1995.

Canada’s 2006 National Junior Team Selection Camp Breakdown ‘By The Numbers’

  • Returning players:
    • 1 - Cam Barker, a defenceman, from Canada’s 2005 gold medal winning National Junior Team
  • Minor Hockey / Hockey Canada Branch breakdown:
    • 7 - Hockey Alberta, Hockey Quebec;
    • 5 - Ontario Hockey Federation;
    • 4 - BC Hockey;
    • 3 - Hockey Manitoba, Hockey Northwestern Ontario;
    • 2 - Ottawa District Hockey Association, Saskatchewan Hockey Association;
    • 1 - Hockey New Brunswick
  • Where they are playing:
    • Thirteen (13) players from the Western Hockey League (WHL)
    • Nine (9) players from the Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
    • Seven (7) players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)
    • Five (5) players from U.S. College Hockey (NCAA)
  • Program of Excellence experience:
    • Twenty-five (25) of the 34 players have been involved in Hockey Canada’s National Under-18 Program, including nine (9) players who won silver medals at the 2005 IIHF World Under-18 Championship;
    • Twenty-four (24) of the 34 players have been involved in Canada's Regional Under-17 Program of Excellence, including 13 who took part in the 2003 Canada Winter Games, 13 who took part in 2004 World Under-17 Challenge and one (1) player who took part in the 2005 World Under-17 Challenge;
    • Five (5) players invited to Selection Camp (Bolland, Chucko, Esposito, Pouliot, Vlasic) will be looking for their first ever experience on a regional or national team;
  • Leadership:
    • Six (6) players (Chipchura, Little, O’Marra, Parent, Russell, Staal) are currently captains of their respective teams, and fourteen (14) are alternate captains;
  • Vital statistics:
    • Average age: 19 years, 0 months, 2 days (as of Dec.);
    • By year of birth: 1986 (16 players); 1987 (16 players); 1988 (1 player); 1989 (1 player);
    • Average height: 6’1”
    • Average weight: 192 lbs
  • NHL Entry Draft information:
    • Thirty (30) of the 34 players invited to camp have been drafted in either the 20 NHL Entry Drafts;
    • Sixteen (16) of the 32 NHL drafted players were First Round NHL Draft Picks, eight (8) players are Second Round NHL Draft Picks, and four (4) were selected in the Third Round;
    • Four (4) undrafted players will be at Canada’s Selection Camp, including three (Brassard, Little, Toews) who are eligible for the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and one (Esposito) will be eligible for the 2007 NHL Entry Draft;
    • The NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks have the most drafted players invited Canada’s 2006 Selection Camp, with four (Barker, Bertram, Blunden and Bolland), followed by the Montreal Canadiens (3);
    • Seven NHL teams have two players at Camp (Calgary, Edmonton, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, San Jose, Vancouver, Washington) while eight NHL teams have one player at camp (Buffalo, Minnesota, Nashville, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Toronto)

For more information:

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

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