The kids aren’t alright.
That’s the message Hockey Canada sent Monday when announcing the 41 participants for the National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp Roster.
That means no trip to Calgary for Sean Monahan and Nathan MacKinnon, eligible for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
“The physical difference between 17-year-olds and 19-year-olds is significant,” head scout Kevin Prendergast said. “They’re two outstanding young hockey players, Monahan and MacKinnon, I love both of them. But the forwards we brought in for this tournament are the ones who give us the best chance to win the tournament.”
Monahan, has 15 goals and 36 points in 20 games for the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League. MacKinnon, on the other hand, is currently eighth in Quebec Major Junior League scoring with 14 goals and 43 points in 27 games with the Halifax Mooseheads.
“We just felt at this point, as good a hockey player as he is, to come into this tournament, (MacKinnon) probably was just a little bit behind where we wanted him to be,” head coach Don Hay said. “Just overall hockey maturity. It’s a very, very strong physical game. At this point with the age factor that goes into this tournament, we just felt that it would be too, too difficult for him right now to be a contributing factor.”
Medicine Hat Tigers standout Hunter Shinkaruk, who is eligible for 2013 as well, was also left out of camp. Shinkaruk is third in goals in the Western Hockey League with 25 in 28 games.
“At the end of the day you have to realize it is a 19-year-old tournament and that physical factor from 16 to 19 is huge,” Prendergast said. “It’s just too hard for kids to compete at that level. They’ll get their opportunity in the next couple of years to be a part of the program.”
The camp will have one young WHL youngster in Mathew Dumba. The Red Deer Rebels defenseman is the sole player in camp born in 1994.
The camp will host just one player born in 1994 in 2012 NHL Entry Draft eligible Mathew Dumba.
“Certainly he’s young,” Prendergast said. “It’s a 19-year-old tournament and you have to look at these kids very very closely. He has all the ingredients to deserve to be here. Now it’s going to be up to him to show us he wants to be on this team and deserves to be on this team.”
Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. For all the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!