Canada announces 34 players for selection camp ahead of world juniors
Canada Head Coach Tim Hunter gives some instructions during practice at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, July, 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Canada will have just two players returning to defend its gold medal from the 2018 world junior hockey championship.
Forwards Alex Formenton and Maxime Comtois, both 19, are among the 34 players chosen by head coach Tim Hunter and Hockey Canada that will attend selection camp ahead of the 2019 world junior championship that begins on Boxing Day.
The majority of Hockey Canada's selections come from the Canadian Hockey League, with 29 of the 34 named to camp currently playing in either the OHL, QMJHL or Western Hockey League.
Defencemen Ian Mitchell (Denver), Jacob Bernard-Docker (North Dakota) and Cameron Crotty (Boston University) and forward Shane Bowers (Boston University) are the lone Canadians playing outside the CHL to make the cut.
The Canadian squad will also have forward Gabe Vilardi joining them at camp. His status was unknown after starting the year on the injured list with the L.A. Kings, but he has recovered and is currently on a conditioning assignment in the American Hockey League.
The battle in net will be between Michael DiPietro, Ian Scott and Matthew Villalta.
Forward Alexis Lafreniere is the youngest player invited at only 17. He isn't eligible for the NHL draft until 2020.
Forwards Robert Thomas and Michael Rasmussen were hopefuls for the squad but haven't been released by their NHL clubs. They still could, though it appears highly unlikely.
Selection camp, which was announced in Calgary, will take place from Dec. 10 to Dec. 14 in Victoria and will be followed by three exhibition games against a group of U Sports all-stars. Hunter is expected to trim the final roster to 23 players.
The Canadian team hits the ice on Dec. 26 for its world junior opener against Denmark in a Group A matchup at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. All Group B games will take place at Victoria's Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
Selection Camp Roster:
- Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)
- Ian Scott (Prince Albert Raiders)
- Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
- Calen Addison (Lethbridge Hurricanes)
- Nicolas Beaudin (Drummondville Voltigeurs)
- Jacob Bernard-Docker (North Dakota)
- Evan Bouchard (London Knights)
- Josh Brook (Moose Jaw Warriors), Cameron Crotty (Boston University)
- Noah Dobson (Acadie-Bathurst Titan)
- Pierre-Olivier Joseph (Charlottetown Islanders)
- Jared McIsaac (Halifax Mooseheads)
- Ian Mitchell (Denver)
- Markus Phillips (Owen Sound Attack)
- Ty Smith (Spokane Chiefs)
- Jaret Anderson-Dolan (Spokane Chiefs)
- Shane Bowers (Boston University)
- Maxime Comtois (Drummondville Voltigeurs)
- Ty Dellandrea (Flint Firebirds)
- Mackenzie Entwhistle (Hamilton Bulldogs)
- Alex Formenton (London Knights)
- Liam Foudy (London Knights)
- Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
- Cody Glass (Portland Winterhawks)
- Barrett Hayton (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
- Alexis Lafreniere (Rimouski Oceanic)
- Raphael Lavoie (Halifax Mooseheads)
- Brett Leason (Prince Albert Raiders)
- Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph Storm)
- Jack Studnicka (Oshawa Generals)
- Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)
- Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)
- Joe Veleno (Drummondville Voltigeurs)
- Gabe Vilardi (L.A. Kings)