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Posted On Thursday, 08.06.2015 / 10:41 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

Merkley scores two, helps Canada defeat Czechs

CALGARY -- Nicholas Merkley saved his best for last.

The Arizona Coyotes prospect had two goals to help Canada to a 6-2 win against the Czech Republic on Thursday in the final exhibition game of Canada's National Junior Evaluation Camp at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park.

For Merkley, the final pick of the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft, the performance couldn't have come at a better time.

"I think I set myself up pretty good (to make the team for the 2016 IIHF World Championship)," Merkley said. "But there's still a lot of work to be done that I've got to carry into the season. I think you just try to play your game. You look at the lineups and whatnot, and I think if you get too focused on that, it's not going to go too well. You've just got to play your game, and hopefully it works out."

Posted On Thursday, 08.06.2015 / 9:00 AM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

Montembeault impresses in Canada's shootout loss

CALGARY -- It wasn't the outcome Samuel Montembeault wanted, but it's an experience he's not going to soon forget.

Montembeault made 18 saves but was saddled with the defeat in Canada's 3-2 shootout loss against Russia on Wednesday during Canada's National Junior Evaluation Camp at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park.

It was his first time ever pulling on Canada's jersey.

"I really liked the experience," said Montembeault, who stopped two of three Russian players in the shootout. "It was my first international game. We didn't get the win at the end. We would've liked to, but we'll get them back."

Posted On Tuesday, 08.04.2015 / 11:04 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

Point leads Canada past Czech Republic in exhibition

CALGARY -- Coach Dave Lowry asked those returning from a gold-medal finish at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship to be leaders during Canada's National Junior Evaluation Camp this week.

Brayden Point (Tampa Bay Lightning) took him literally.

Point had two goals and three assists to lead Canada to a 7-1 win against the Czech Republic on Tuesday at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park.

"He wants us to work hard and to set a pace," Point said. "I think as a group we're trying to work our hardest and lead by example. You want to be a leader, but you definitely want to take care of your game first and then try to lead. I just tried to do that tonight."

Posted On Tuesday, 08.04.2015 / 9:00 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

Canada names 22-player roster for Hlinka Cup

CALGARY -- Michael McLeod, a potential first-round pick at the 2016 NHL Draft, was among 22 players picked to represent Canada at the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.

The U-18 tournament will be played in Bratislava, Slovakia, and Breclav, Czech Republic, from Aug. 10-15. Canada has won the tournament the past seven years and 19 times in the 24 times it's been held since 1991.

"For success, great athletes thrive on pressure and great teams thrive on pressure," Canada coach Stan Butler said. "There's no doubt going over there as the favorite having won this tournament numerous times, anything less than that is going to be disappointing for everybody involved."

The roster was picked after a five-day selection camp at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

Posted On Tuesday, 08.04.2015 / 5:40 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

McCann, Perlini to miss rest of Canada camp

CALGARY -- Forwards Jared McCann (Vancouver Canucks) and Brendan Perlini (Arizona Coyotes) will be held out of the rest of Canada's national junior team summer development camp for precautionary reasons, Hockey Canada said Tuesday.

McCann was injured on a hit from defenseman Nikita Zhuldikov 57 seconds into the second period of Canada's 4-1 win against Russia at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park. He did not return to the game.

Posted On Tuesday, 08.04.2015 / 9:22 AM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

Marner wows for Canada in exhibition win vs. Russia

CALGARY -- It was the first impression Mitchell Marner was hoping to leave on Hockey Canada coach Dave Lowry.

Marner, selected with the fourth pick in the 2015 NHL Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, was dynamic in making several highlight reel plays in a 4-1 win against Russia on Monday during Canada's National Junior Evaluation Camp at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park.

"He's a world-class player and he's a highly skilled individual," Lowry said. "He was fun for us to watch. It's the first time we've had eyes on him live and in a game. He performed exceptionally. I thought he was outstanding. There's a reason why Toronto drafted him when they did. He's an exceptional player. It was nice to see it live."

Posted On Tuesday, 08.04.2015 / 8:56 AM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

Canada forward McCann leaves game with injury

CALGARY -- Canada forward Jared McCann, selected with the 24th pick in the 2014 NHL Draft by the Vancouver Canucks, sustained an injury during an exhibition game against Russia on Monday at their National Junior Evaluation Camp.

McCann took a high hit from Russia defenseman Nikita Zhuldikov 57 seconds into the second period of Canada's 4-1 win at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park. He did not return to the game.

Posted On Saturday, 08.01.2015 / 5:25 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

Zacha won't participate in Czech Republic camp

CALGARY -- Pavel Zacha, the first-round pick by the New Jersey Devils in the 2015 NHL Draft, will not participate in the Czech Republic's national junior team evaluation camp beginning Saturday in Calgary.

Zacha has not signed a contract with the Devils and opted out of the camp for precautionary reasons.

Posted On Saturday, 08.01.2015 / 5:19 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

Versatile Benson impressing at Canada's U-18 camp

CALGARY -- According to Vancouver Giants forward Tyler Benson, the expectations have always been there.

But Benson, named to NHL Central Scouting's Futures List for North America and Europe in June, welcomes them as the potential first round pick awaits the 2016 NHL Draft next June.

"I don't think it makes it any easier," Benson told NHL.com at Canada's National Men's Summer Under-18 Team selection camp at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. "You have to perform this year. You have to go out there and try to be the best every day. If you're playing to the expectations, you're going to do well."

Posted On Friday, 07.31.2015 / 10:15 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2016 World Junior evaluation camp blog

Chychrun out for Canada at Ivan Hlinka Memorial

CALGARY -- Defenseman Jakob Chychrun will not play for Canada at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup following shoulder surgery.

"He’s injured. He had shoulder surgery in April to repair his shoulder," Hockey Canada director of player personnel Ryan Jankowski said Friday. "We thought maybe at one point he might be all right and we wanted to name him. He's going to be unable to participate through the whole thing, through the camp and the Hlinka. He's out."

The U-18 tournament will be played in Bratislava, Slovakia, and Breclav, Czech Republic, from Aug. 10-15.

In 42 games with the Sarnia Sting last season, Chychrun had 16 goals and 17 assists, and was named a third-team Ontario Hockey League all-star. He missed the final five games of the regular season and did not play in the OHL playoffs.

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