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Sports World Juniors 2021: Roster, dates, format for Hockey Canada's selection camp

07:40  22 november  2020
07:40  22 november  2020 Source:   sportingnews.com

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As the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship approaches, Hockey Canada announced the players invited to attend the National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp beginning Nov. 16.

“Although this has been a difficult year for our athletes and staff, we are excited to unveil the 46 players who will compete for a spot on Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship,” Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada's senior vice president of national teams, said in a news release. “We know our athletes are excited for the opportunity to defend gold on home ice this year, and we expect a highly competitive selection camp with a number of difficult decisions to be made when it comes time to select the players who will wear the Maple Leaf in Edmonton in December.”

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Canada enters this year's tournament as the defending champion and will see six players returning from that squad, including 2020 NHL Draft No. 2 overall selection and Los Angeles Kings prospect Quinton Byfield. One notable omission — for now — is No. 1 overall pick and last year's MVP, Alexis Lafreniere.

The 2021 edition returns to Canadian soil as Edmonton, Alberta, will serve as the host. Red Deer, Alberta, was originally scheduled to split hosting duties; however, because of the ongoing pandemic, the tournament will now be held in an NHL-style bubble in Edmonton. While the country enters with a world-best 18 gold medals, it did not win any the last time the tournament was held in its confines in 2019 (Vancouver and Victoria, B.C.).

Here's everything to know about the selection camp and upcoming 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.

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Who was invited to Canada’s 2021 World Juniors selection camp?

A total of 46 players were initially invited to Team Canada's selection camp, which will be held from Nov. 16 to Dec. 13 in Red Deer, Alberta. The players, including five goaltenders, 15 defensemen and 26 forwards, will compete for a spot on head coach Andre Tourigny's team.

Last year, Flames prospect Jakob Pelletier was expected to play for Canada but was injured prior to camp. Seven players who were cut from that 2020 camp will get a chance to wear the Maple Leafs in Edmonton: Thomas Harley, Dylan Holloway, Peyton Krebs, Alex Newhook, Cole Perfetti, Braden Schneider and Connor Zary.

During a conference call with the media after the initial announcement, Hockey Canada announced the addition of forward Kirby Dach to the selection camp roster. If the NHL season begins on Jan. 1 — which is the tentative date for now — Dach will return to the Blackhawks for the start of the season. It should be noted that Chicago would not release Dach last year.

"I'm excited to have him on board," Tourigny said. "I think he can bring leadership. I think he had the chance to have a season with guys like Jonathan Toews and ... he's been in the bubble as well [with the Blackhawks over the summer.] ... so that will be really helpful for the rest of the group. Obviously, Kirby is an elite player and he's a really good person, so we'll rely on him as a leader."

On Nov. 10, Hockey Canada announced that Owen Power would not be released by the University of Michigan to attend selection camp. The Wolverines are slated to begin their season on Nov. 14 against Arizona State.

“We understand this year’s World Juniors and selection camp are unique, but we believe the chance to represent Canada is a tremendous opportunity for any young player," Salmond in a statement regarding Power, who is a top prospect for the 2021 draft. "Although we are disappointed Owen will not be able to join our team at camp, we understand and respect the decision made by the University of Michigan.”

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2020 NHL Draft: Complete list of selections for Rounds 1-7

Name Position Hometown Club team NHL Draft
Adam Beckman Forward Saskatoon, Sask. Spokane (WHL) MIN (2019)
Mavrik Bourque Forward Plessisville, Que. Shawinigan (QMJHL) DAL (2020)
Quinton Byfield Forward Newmarket, Ont. Sudbury (OHL) LAK (2020)
Graeme Clarke Forward Nepean, Ont. Ottawa (OHL) NJD (2019)
Dylan Cozens Forward Whitehorse, Yukon Lethbridge (WHL) BUF (2019)
Kirby Dach Forward Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. Blackhawks (NHL) CHI (2019)
Tyson Foerster Forward Alliston, Ont. Barrie (OHL) PHI (2020)
Gage Goncalves Forward Mission, B.C. Everett (WHL) TBL (2020)
Ridly Greig Forward Lethbridge, Alta. Brandon (WHL) OTT (2020)
Dylan Holloway Forward Bragg Creek, Alta. Wisconsin (Big Ten) EDM (2020)
Seth Jarvis Forward Winnipeg, Man. Portland (WHL) CAR (2020)
Peyton Krebs Forward Okotoks, Alta. Winnipeg (WHL) VGK (2019)
Hendrix Lapierre Forward Gatineau, Que. Chicoutimi (QMJHL) WSH (2020)
Connor McMichael Forward Ajax, Ont. London (OHL) WSH (2019)
Dawson Mercer Forward Bay Roberts, Nfld. Chicoutimi (QMJHL) NJD (2020)
Alex Newhook Forward St. John's, Nfld. Boston College (HE) COL (2019)
Jakob Pelletier Forward Quebec City, Que. Val-d'Or (QMJHL) CGY (2019)
Cole Perfetti Forward Whitby, Ont. Saginaw (OHL) WPG (2020)
Samuel Poulin Forward Blainville, Que. Sherbrooke (QMJHL) PIT (2019)
Jack Quinn Forward Cobden, Ont. Ottawa (OHL) BUF (2020)
Jamieson Rees Forward Hamilton, Ont. Sarnia (OHL) CAR (2019)
Cole Schwindt Forward Kitchener, Ont. Mississauga (OHL) FLA(2019)
Xavier Simoneau Forward Saint-Andre-Avellin, Que. Drummondville (QMJHL) 2021 Draft
Ryan Suzuki Forward London, Ont. Saginaw (OHL) CAR (2019)
Philip Tomasino Forward Mississauga, Ont. Oshawa (OHL) NSH (2019)
Shane Wright Forward Burlington, Ont. Kingston (OHL) 2022 Draft
Connor Zary Forward Saskatoon, Sask. Kamloops (WHL) CGY (2020)
Justin Barron Defense Halifax, N.S. Halifax (QMJHL) COL (2020)
Bowen Byram Defense Cranbrook, B.C. Vancouver (WHL) COL (2019)
Lukas Cormier Defense Sainte-Marie-de-Kent, N.B. Charlottetown (QMJHL) VGK (2020)
Jamie Drysdale Defense Toronto, Ont. Erie (OHL) ANA (2020)
Kaiden Guhle Defense Sherwood Park, Alta. Prince Albert (WHL) MTL (2020)
Thomas Harley Defense Jamesville, N.Y. Mississauga (OHL) DAL (2019)
Daemon Hunt Defense Brandon, Man. Moose Jaw (WHL) MIN (2020)
Kaeden Korczak Defense Yorkton, Sask. Kelowna (WHL) VGK (2019)
Mason Millman Defense London, Ont. Saginaw (OHL) PHI (2019)
Ryan O'Rourke Defense Bowmanville, Ont. Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) MIN (2020)
Matthew Robertson Defense Sherwood Park, Alta. Edmonton (WHL) NYR(2019)
Braden Schneider Defense Prince Albert, Sask. Brandon (WHL) NYR (2020)
Donovan Sebrango Defense Kingstron, Ont. Kitchener (OHL) DET (2020)
Jordan Spence Defense Cornwall, P.E.I. Moncton (QMJHL) LAK (2019)
Brett Brochu Goaltender Tilbury, Ont. London (OHL) 2021 Draft
Dylan Garand Goaltender Victoria, B.C. Kamloops (WHL) NYR (2020)
Taylor Gauthier Goaltender Calgary, Alta. Prince George (WHL) 2021 Draft
Tristan Lennox Goaltender Cambridge, Ont. Saginaw (OHL) 2021 Draft
Devon Levi Goaltender Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que. Northeastern (HE) FLA (2020)

When will Canada’s 2020 World Juniors roster be finalized?

Normally, rosters are not required to be finalized until the day before the tournament begins. This year's tournament begins on Christmas Day with a tripleheader. Canada's first game will be, as usual, on Boxing Day when it takes on Germany at 6 p.m. ET.

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Unlike in previous years where the roster limit is 23, including three goalies, this year's team will have two extra skater spots for a full 25.

2021 WJC: Tournament schedule

Who played on Canada's 2020 World Juniors team?

Six players return from 2020's gold-medal winning team: Quinton Byfield, Bowen Byram, Dylan Cozens, Jamie Drysdale, Connor McMichael and Dawson Mercer.

2020 GOLD: Canada bests Russia to win WJC

Where is Alexis Lafreniere?

While 2020 tournament MVP and No. 1 overall draft pick Alexis Lafreniere was left off this selection camp list, he was on the minds of Hockey Canada over the summer. He was invited to the online summer evaluation camp but was not required to attend.

Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton did state on a call with reporters, when announcing Lafreniere's entry-level contract, that they wanted the rookie in New York to prepare for his first NHL season.

When asked by Sporting News whether the NHL's start date getting pushed further into 2021 from the tentative date of Jan. 1 would affect Lafreniere's world junior availability, he noted that there have been some discussions.

"We're talking about those scenarios and what's going to happen," Gorton said. "Right now our focus is, get him here as soon as we can and have him start training and be here and start focusing on the NHL season, and then we'll take it as far as it comes as far as the world junior or any other situation that might come up."

On a call with reporters Thursday, Hockey Canada's CEO Tom Renney said that Hockey Canada has preliminary discussions with the Rangers.

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"Jeff Gorton and I had a good chat, gave Jeff the opportunity to understand our timetable of what might be coming up with respect to this camp for example, and well beyond that," said Renney, who is himself a former Rangers head coach. "Jeff was certainly open-minded to the idea. [He's] hoping his player would have the opportunity to join the NHL team in New York as of now actually, to begin skating with the club."

Renney noted that he will circle back with Gorton in 10 days.

With Lafreniere not in the Red Deer bubble, it was initially thought he could enter the Edmonton bubble with the rest of the team on Dec. 13. During post-game availability following an intrasquad game on Nov. 21, Salmond announced that Lafreniere would have to join the team by Dec. 6. IIHF rules now state teams must be together for one week prior to Dec. 13 and everyone must have three negative tests. For now, the NHL season's start — while still projected for Jan. 1 — is up in the air, although most speculate a decision will have to come soon for the puck to drop at the start of the new year.

Which Team Canada players have NHL game experience?

Out of the 47 players named to selection camp, only Kirby Dach (Blackhawks) and Thomas Harley (Stars) have NHL experience.

Which players are 2021 draft-eligible?

There are a total of five players that are eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft and one player — Shane Wright — for the 2022 Draft. Wright, who was granted exceptional status by the CHL and played for the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs in 2019-20, is expected to be the No. 1 overall selection in two years. At just 16, he is the youngest player named to the selection camp.

"Hell of a player," Tourigny said about Wright (if Canada plays in the gold-medal game on Jan. 5, he'll do so as a 17-year-old).

"I guess I love him or I hate him when he has the yellow and white jersey [of the Frontenacs]," added Tourigny, who has coached against him with the Ottawa 67's in 2019-20.

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"When he played in Kingston in the training camp, yeah, pretty good player. ... Saw him early in the season, I say: 'Oh, he got much better' and then I saw him at Christmas, said: 'Oh my God, he's really good.' Then when I saw him at the end of the season and I said: 'This guy's a superstar.' ... It's not a secret, he's an elite talent."

How will the selection camp run?

Normally the camp is held in early December and leads directly into the tournament; however, because of the pandemic, this year it will run from Nov. 16 to Dec. 13 in a bubble in Red Deer, Alberta, before the team heads to the Edmonton bubble.

The month-long closed camp will include practices, three intrasquad games and, from Nov. 28 to Dec. 13, six games against a team of U SPORTS all-stars.

“As we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, Hockey Canada has taken important steps to maintain the health and safety of our National Junior Team athletes and staff, as well as the community at large, during selection camp and throughout the World Juniors,” Rennet said in the news release. “As much as we would enjoy allowing fans into the building to support Team Canada throughout the camp, we need to be responsible as we look to keep all parties safe before teams enter the bubble in Edmonton.”

Once they enter the Edmonton bubble, Canada will play Sweden and Russia in pre-tournament exhibition games. Canada defeated Russia in the gold-medal game in 2020.

As of Nov. 21, five players did not play in the first intrasquad game: goaltender Devon Levi and forwards Ridly Greig, Dylan Holloway, Alex Newhook and Xavier Simoneau. Levi, Holloway and Newhook all play college in the United States and are subject to Canada's 14-day quarantine requirement but are skating separately. Simoneau was not initially cleared to travel as he was awaiting a test result but is expected to practice on Nov. 22. Greig, his agent announced, has COVID-19 but is asymptomatic.

What if NHL playoff teams picked their opponents? .
As we await word on the fate of the 2020-21 NHL season, theScore is revisiting innovative ideas from different corners of the hockey world. Consider this four-part series food for thought during a most unusual offseason. (Part 1 is about replacing the draft lottery. Parts 3 and 4 will arrive Monday and Tuesday, respectively.) Picture this: It's Sunday, April 7, 2019, hours removed from the NHL regular season and three days before playoff action begins. The Tampa Bay Lightning, who laid waste to the competition for the past six months - winning 62 of 82 games - have earned the right to choose their first-round opponent in the Eastern Conference.

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