Winnipeg – Winnipegger Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings and Oakbank’s Brett Howden of the Moose Jaw Warriors are among the 32 players who have been invited to the National Junior Team Selection Camp.
Patrick’s Wheat King team mate, Kale Clague is also on the invite list for the Camp which begins a week from Sunday on December 11th in the Montreal suburb of Blainville, Quebec.
Patrick, who is tabbed as the number one selection for the 2017 NHL entry draft, has played in only six games for Brandon after suffering an upper body injury on October 11th. But in those six games the 6-3 and 195 pound center had 4-5-9.
Howden- the Tampa Bay Lightning’s First Round Pick in this year’s draft- missed a month of the schedule for the Warriors with an injury as well. But the 6-3, 191 pound pivot returned to the lineup last weekend and had back to back 1 goal and 2 assist games in Calgary and Red Deer to boost his season totals to 11-9-20 in only 13 games played.
Clague has also missed some time, playing in only 16 of the Wheaties 24 games to date. But the LA Kings prospect has scored four goals and added fourteen assists for eighteen points.
There are five veterans returning for Canada, who lost 6-5 in the quarterfinals last year to the eventual Gold Medal Champions from the host country of Finland.
That group includes forwards Mathew Barzal of Seattle, Dylan Strome of Erie, Val d’Or’s Julien Gauthier, Mitchell Stephens of Saginaw, and defenceman Thomas Chabot of Saint John.
There are 19 forwards, 10 defencemen, and 3 goalies who will try to make the 22 player roster for the 2017 World Junior Tournament to be co-hosted by Toronto and Montreal.
Team Canada will play pre-tourney games vs Finland (Dec 19th in Montreal), the Czech Republic (Dec 21 in Ottawa), and Switzerland (Dec 23 in Toronto).
The Junior Nats will remain in Toronto where they will play their four round robin games at the Air Canada Centre vs Russia (Dec 26th -7 p.m. CT), Slovakia (Dec 27th – 7 p.m. CT), Latvia (Dec 29th – 7 p.m. CT), and then the United States (Dec 31st – 2:30 p.m. CT).
The playoff and medal round games will be played in Montreal.