Hunter Shinkaruk saw the writing on the wall.
After failing to earn an invite to the Subway Super Series, the 2013 NHL Entry Draft eligible knew his name wouldn’t be among the 41 announced to the National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp by Hockey Canada last week.
“I think it’s at the back of your mind but I definitely wanted to get a Super Series invite but when that didn’t come I realized (a camp invite) probably wasn’t going to happen,” Shinkaruk said. “I can’t do anything about it, they’re going to pick a good team and hopefully they win gold.”
Shinkark’s absence raised the eyebrows of many. Though the Calgary, AB. native had just turned 17-years-old in October, Shinkaruk has found the back of the net 26 times this season. Only one Canadian playing in the Western Hockey League – Ty Rattie – had more.
The Medicine Hat tiger was among a trio of 2013 eligibles whose absence caused a stir. Nathan MacKinnon, widely regarded as the best 1995-born player in Canada, as well as Sean Monahan, were all left off.
“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,” Hockey Canada head scout Kevin 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.”
Teammate Tyler Bunz, who will compete with three other goaltenders in a bid to tend Canada’s crease, believes Shinkaruk offered enough to make the camp.
“In my mind, he could’ve got one of those spots as one of those young players,” Bunz said. “For him not being named to the selection camp, it shouldn’t bring him down. He’s a great hockey player, he knows that, and I’m sure he’ll be putting on that Canadian jersey the next two years.”
Still, Shinkaruk isn’t bitter.
“You’ve got to cheer for Canada,” he said. “It’s been my dream. That’s my country. Hopefully they come out with the gold.”
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!