Moments after Hockey Canada had released it’s roster for the upcoming National Junior Team’s final selection camp, the texts starting coming to my phone regarding who was not invited.
Why no Jordan Weal of the Regina Pats, Slater Koekkoek of the Peterborough Petes and Martin Lefebvre of the Quebec Remparts to name a few. All three are enjoying fine seasons with their respective teams.
The bigger story this time around then the battle as to who did and who didn’t is the final number. 41 players will participate in the camp starting December 10th in Calgary, the largest number in Hockey Canada’s history.
The ideal number and the template is 34, including four goalies, 18 forwards and 12 defensemen. I have been at camps where the number has grown to 36 or 37, but never 41.
Why, and I know your saying here goes Loubardias again!
Never has the competition for the final 22 spots been tighter or more wide open. It’s a fact head scout Kevin Prendergast and company just don’t have nearly as many players slotted into for sure roles as they have in other years.
There is no way they can or the number of invites wouldn’t be what it is. To the competitors it’s up to you to convince head coach Don Hay and a great staff that you deserve to play come Boxing Day and don the Maple Leaf.
The stage has been set. The actors are all talented and have ability. I can’t wait to see how it plays out.