LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Despite a lackluster final showing, Hockey Canada executives were pleased with how things went during the portion of the national junior evaluation camp spent here.
"It's been great," Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada's senior director of hockey operations and national teams, told NHL.com. "Any time you can play meaningful games in August when you're trying to evaluate players and prepare your team, it's a great experience."
It's a significant change from the process Hockey Canada has used to pick previous national junior teams; generally, two teams' worth of players were brought in and took part in intrasquad scrimmages.
"This certainly beats what we've done in the past," Salmond said. "This is more of a team atmosphere where we're building and the coaches are finding out about players and the other way around for the players. It's been really good.
"It's a different mentality for sure. The idea of Red versus White, competitive against each other, to me is not as good as one team against international competition. We're building now in August as opposed to pulling guys apart and evaluating. This is more of a building process and gives you a chance to evaluate.
Salmond said a return to Lake Placid is in the planning stages for next summer.
"Jim Johannson [assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey] and I met [Friday] and I indicated to him that we'd certainly love to be part of it next year," Salmond said. "We may look to change a couple things, the way we do things down here, but absolutely we want to be part of it. And they [USA Hockey] want us to be part of it. I think it's a great partnership for the four teams that are here."
Follow Adam Kimelman on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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