OHL Press Release
Thirty-five Canadian Hockey League stars have been invited to the final selection camp for Canada’s entry at the World Junior Hockey Championships, which open later this month Sweden. Fourteen of the players named to the selection camp roster currently play in the Ontario Hockey League.
The final selection camp will include 14 players from the OHL, 13 from the WHL and eight from the QMJHL. The other three players invited are playing in the NCAA. The camp opens in Calgary, Alberta on December 10.
The invitation list includes 11 returning players from the team that won gold at last year’s 2006 IIHF World Junior Championship in Vancouver. Of these 11 returnees, five are from the OHL – Steve Downie (Peterborough Petes), Ryan O’Marra (Saginaw Spirit), Ryan Parent (Guelph Storm), Tom Pyatt (Saginaw Spirit) and Marc Staal (Sudbury Wolves).
“This is an impressive group of young men that are anxious for the opportunity to represent our country,”said CHL President David Branch. “We were extremely proud of all of the CHL players who won the gold medal last year in Vancouver and we look forward to cheering them on again this year.”
The list also includes 15 first round NHL draft picks, including goaltenders Leland Irving (Everette Silvertips) and Jonathan Bernier (Lewiston Maine-iacs) along with forwards Bryan Little (Barrie Colts), Chris Stewart (Kingston Frontenacs), and Claude Giroux (Gatineau Olympiques) who were all selected in the first round of the 2006 draft last July.
Included on the list of invitees were London Knights’ forward Sam Gagner who is eligible for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft, Guelph Storm defenceman Drew Doughty who is not eligible to be drafted until 2008 as well as Oshawa Generals’ forward John Tavares who is not eligible to be drafted into the NHL until 2009.
For a full list of players invited to the final evaluation camp click here.
“The quality and skill of the 38 players named today, is a testament of the hard work, commitment and development of all those involved in the Canadian minor hockey and junior hockey system,” said Jim Hammett, Head Scout, Hockey Canada. “Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence, including our Under-17 and Under-18 Programs, has provided many of these players with the preparation and experience to deal with the rigors of the upcoming World Juniors and the high paced international competition. We are looking forward to a very competitive camp next week in Calgary.”
Canada will play its first game of the 2007 World Juniors in Sweden on Boxing Day, December 26th, versus Sweden at 1:00pm ET (7:00pm local), which will be broadcast LIVE by TSN/RDS and on the FAN radio network.
Canada has medaled in eight straight World Junior Championships including: back to back gold medal performances in 2006 and 2005, silver medals in 2004, 2003, 2002, 1999 and bronze medals in 2001 and 2000.
At the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship in Sweden, Canada will look to win a third consecutive gold medal for the first time since Canada’s string of five consecutive World Junior Championship titles (1993-1997).