While the attention of the NHL and its fans is set on the 2010 Entry Draft, scheduled for June 25-26 in Los Angeles, the first steps in the race for the 2011 draft in St. Paul, Minn., already is being planned.
Some of those players will be on display in Calgary from July 31-Aug. 3 at Hockey Canada's selection camp for the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament, an under-18 elite international event to be held Aug. 10-14 in Slovakia.
Among the players to watch are Peterborough Petes left wing Matt Puempel, the Canadian Hockey League Rookie of the Year who led all Ontario Hockey League first-year players with 33 goals and 64 points; Red Deer Rebels center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who finished fifth among Western Hockey League rookies with 65 points in 67 games and was named WHL rookie of the year; and Everett Silvertips defenseman Ryan Murray, who played for Canada's World Under-18 Championship team.
Of the 38 skaters invited to the camp, all are eligible for the 2011 Draft except for three players who can't be picked until the 2012 selection process – Murray, Ottawa 67s defenseman Cody Ceci, and Baie-Comeau Drakkar forward Raphael Bussieres.
Four goalies will be selected for the camp following a goaltender evaluation camp being held June 17-20 in Calgary.
Team Canada's Hlinka team will be coached by George Burnett of the Belleville Bulls. Acadie-Bathurst Titan coach Ron Choules and Tri-City Americans coach Jim Hiller will serve as assistants.
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org
HOCKEY CANADA SUMMER UNDER-18 TEAM SELECTION CAMP
DEFESEMEN – Myles Bell, Regina (WHL)*; Cody Ceci, Ottawa (OHL); Dillon Donnelly, Shawinigan (QMJHL)*; Dougie Hamilton, Niagara (OHL)*; Scott Harrington, London (OHL)*; Ryan Murphy, Kitchener (OHL)*; Ryan Murray, Everett (WHL); Jimmy Oligny, Prince Edwards Island (QMJHL) *; Xavier Ouellet, Montreal (QMJHL) *; Stuart Percy, Mississauga St. Michael's (OHL) *; Jonathan Racine, Shawinigan (QMJHL) *; Reece Scarlett, Swift Current (WHL) *; Duncan Siemens, Saskatoon (WHL) *; Stephen Woodworth, Lewiston (QMJHL) *.
FORWARDS – Brent Andrews, Halifax (QMJHL) *; Olivier Archambault, Val d'Or (QMJHL) *; Austen Brassard, Belleville (OHL) *; David Broll, Erie (OHL) *; Raphael Bussieres, Baie-Comeau (QMJHL); Daniel Catenacci, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) *; Michael Curtis, Belleville (OHL) *; Phillip Danault, Victoriaville (QMJHL) *; Jonathan Huberdeau, Saint John (QMJHL) *; Boone Jenner, Oshawa (OHL) *; Jean-Francois Leblanc, Val d'Or (QMJHL) *; Lucas Lessio, St. Michael's (CCHL) *; Adam Lowry, Swift Current (WHL) *; Mark McNeill, Prince Albert (WHL) *; Garrett Meurs, Plymouth (OHL) *; Bryce Milson, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL) *; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Red Deer (WHL) *; Matt Puempel, Peterborough (OHL) *; Alan Quine, Kingston (OHL) *; Ty Rattie, Portland (WHL) *; Brett Ritchie, Sarnia (OHL) *; Carter Sandlak, Guelph (OHL) *; Colin Smith, Kamloops (WHL) *; Michael St. Croix, Edmonton (WHL) *.
*- eligible for 2011 Entry Draft