It will be another busy summer for Hockey Canada, with 197 of the top young men’s players in the country earning invites to the National Teams’ Summer Showcase in Calgary, Alta., and Plymouth, Mich.
Here’s how it breaks down: 111 will hit the ice at the Canada’s national under-17 development camp, 44 will battle for roster spots at Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team selection camp, and 42 will head south of the border to begin the road to the World Juniors at Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp.
A closer look at Canada’s summer campers…
1 – U18 camp invitee with previous experience at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup; Joe Veleno became just the second under-ager to make Team Canada in 2016, and would be the first Canadian to ever play twice at the annual summer under-18 tournament.
1 – member of the TELUS Cup champion Cape Breton West Islanders; U17 camp invitee Logan Chisholm tied the gold medal game in the third period before scoring the overtime winner, giving Atlantic Canada its first-ever title at Canada’s National Midget Championship.
2 – sons of 2002 Olympic gold medallist Adam Foote to earn invitations; Cal Foote will be in Plymouth for NJT camp, while younger brother Nolan is a U18 hopeful in Calgary.
3 – members of the OHL Cup champion Mississauga Reps invited to U17 camp; Ryan Dugas, Jamieson Rees and Lucas Rowe helped the Reps become the second Wild Card team to win the Ontario Minor Midget AAA championship.
4 – NJT camp invitees who helped Canada West win gold at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge; Dennis Cholowski, Dante Fabbro and Cale Makar patrolled the blue-line, while Tyson Jost wore the ‘C’ and took home MVP honours.
5 – CHL teams with four draftees invited to U17 camp, more than any other – the Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL), Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL), Saginaw Spirit (OHL), Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) and Foreurs de Val-d’Or (QMJHL).
5 – U18 camp invitees who did not play at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge; Gabriel Fortier, Alexis Gravel, Hunter Holmes, Merrick Rippon and Joe Veleno (named to the roster but was injured) were not on the ice in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
6 – NJT camp invitees who have never been a part of the Program of Excellence; Dennis Cholowski, Jonah Gadjovich, Cal Foote, Cale Makar, Matthew Phillips and Conor Timmins did not play at the U17 or U18 levels.
8 – 2017 first-round NHL draft picks invited to NJT camp – Nolan Patrick (PHI 2nd), Cale Makar (COL 4th), Cody Glass (VGK 6th), Owen Tippett (FLA 10th), Gabe Vilardi (LAK 11th), Nick Suzuki (VGK 13th), Cal Foote (TBL 14th), Robert Thomas (STL 20th).
9 – returnees from Canada’s 2017 National Junior Team; Jake Bean, Kale Clague, Dillon Dubé, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Dante Fabbro, Carter Hart, Tyson Jost, Michael McLeod and Taylor Raddysh helped Canada to a silver medal in Montreal and Toronto.
11 – camp invitees who have been a captain for Team Canada. Tyson Jost led Canada West to gold at the 2015 World Junior A Challenge and won bronze at the 2016 IIHF U18 World Championship; Kale Clague (CAN Black), Tanner Kaspick (CAN White) and Nolan Patrick (CAN Red) wore the ‘C’ at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge; Shane Bowers (CAN Black) and Markus Phillips (CAN Red) followed in 2015; and Benoît-Olivier Groulx (CAN Red), Ty Smith (CAN Black) and Jett Woo (CAN White) led the way in 2016. Phillips also captained Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team in 2016, Brett Howden led the summer U18s in 2015, Smith was the Youth Olympics captain in the same year, and Cale Makar was the on-ice leader for Canada West at the 2016 World Junior A Challenge.
15 – members of the Canadian entry from the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games invited to U18 camp; Luka Burzan, Dennis Busby, Declan Chisholm, Aidan Dudas, Gabriel Fortier, Alexis Gravel, Benoît-Olivier Groulx, Anderson MacDonald, Jared McIsaac, Allan McShane, Ryan Merkley, Connor Roberts, Olivier Rodrigue, Ty Smith and Jett Woo won a silver medal in Lillehammer, Norway.
41 – Ontario natives invited to U17 camp, more than any other province or territory; it is followed by Quebec (20), Alberta (14), British Columbia (11), Saskatchewan (7), Manitoba (5), Nova Scotia (5), Newfoundland & Labrador (3), New Brunswick (1) and the Yukon (1).
131 �� points for NJT camp invitee Sam Steel, more than any other player in the Canadian Hockey League. Steel scored 50 goals and added 81 assists to win the WHL scoring title, finishing one point ahead of Regina teammate Adam Brooks.