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MERKLEY, CHARTIER AMONG 10 PLAYERS TO CANADA’S SELECTION CAMP

Hockey Canada revealed the names of the 30 players invited to participate in Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp at a press conference this morning, of which 10 currently play in the Western Hockey League.
 
Both Joe Hicketts (Kamloops, BC / Victoria Royals) and Brayden Point (Calgary, AB / Moose Jaw Warriors) return to camp this year after helping Team Canada to a gold medal one year ago.
 
Both the Kelowna Rockets and Brandon Wheat Kings, the two teams that met in the 2015 WHL Championship Series, will send a pair of players to the selection camp.
 
WHL Invitees – Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp
Defence
H
W
DOB
Hometown
WHL Club
NHL Draft
Haydn Fleury
6’3”
203
7/8/1996
Carlyle, SK
Red Deer Rebels
CAR ’14 (1, 7)
Joe Hicketts
5’8”
175
5/4/1996
Kamloops, BC
Victoria Royals
DET ’14 (FA)
Noah Juulsen
6’1”
175
4/2/1997
Abbotsford, BC
Everett Silvertips
MTL ’15 (1, 26)
Travis Sanheim
6’3”
184
3/29/1996
Elkhorn, MB
Calgary Hitmen
PHI ’14 (1, 17)
Forwards
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mathew Barzal
6’0”
181
5/26/1997
Coquitlam, BC
Seattle Thunderbirds
NYI ’15 (1, 16)
Rourke Chartier
5’11”
190
4/3/1996
Saskatoon, SK
Kelowna Rockets
SJS ’14 (5, 149)
Jayce Hawryluk
5’10”
197
1/1/1996
Roblin, MB
Brandon Wheat Kings
FLA ’14 (2, 32)
Nick Merkley
5’11”
190
5/23/1997
Calgary, AB
Kelowna Rockets
ARI ’15 (1, 30)
Brayden Point
5’10”
163
3/12/1996
Calgary, AB
Moose Jaw Warriors
TBL ’14 (3, 79)
John Quenneville
6’1”
205
4/16/1996
Edmonton, AB
Brandon Wheat Kings
NJD ’14 (1, 30)
 
Full Selection Camp Roster HERE
 
Last year, 14 WHL players earned invites to Team Canada’s selection camp, while nine attended camp in 2013. In total, two goaltenders, 11 defencemen and 17 forwards were listed on the selection camp roster.
 
Canada’s National Junior Team Selection Camp will run from December 10-14 at the MasterCard Centre in Etobicoke, ON ahead of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship which begins on December 26 in Helsinki, Finland. Team Canada will finalize its 22-man roster on December 20.
 
In addition to the 10 WHL players that will attend selection camp, the WHL will be well represented on the staff of Team Canada once again this year. Tim Speltz (Spokane Chiefs) was named to the Program of Excellence Management Group earlier this year, while Victoria Royals Head Coach Dave Lowry will be Team Canada’s bench boss. Brandon Wheat Kings General Manager and Head Coach Kelly McCrimmon will serve as an assistant coach under Lowry. Brian Cheeseman of the Edmonton Oil Kings will serve as a therapist for Team Canada, while the Victoria Royals’ Matt Auerbach was named as an equipment manager.
 
The selection camp roster was released at a news conference on Tuesday. Ryan Jankowski, director of player personnel for Hockey Canada, and Spokane Chiefs General Manager Tim Speltz, member of the Program of Excellence management group, were responsible for all player selection, with input from coaches and general managers from across the Canadian Hockey League.
 
“We’re looking to assemble the best possible team to represent the country in Helsinki at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship. With the talent we have attending camp, it’s going to come down to some difficult decisions for us in selecting the players who make the final team,” said Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations and national teams for Hockey Canada.
 
Canada won gold at the IIHF World Junior Championship on home ice in January. The team has not won in Europe since 2008 – the fourth of five consecutive gold medals for Canada’s National Junior Team from 2005-09.
 
“We have some returning players from last year’s gold medal-winning team, and a lot of international experience with the group as a whole. We’re looking forward to getting everyone together in Toronto next week and getting started,” said Jankowski, who also noted the management team remains in contact with NHL clubs regarding eligible players who may be made available to join the team before Canada finalizes its roster on December 20.
 
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