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Hudon leaves Canada's junior team with back injury, replaced by McNeill

Friday, 12.21.2012 / 12:24 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Hudon leaves Canada's junior team with back injury, replaced by McNeill

HELSINKI - Canada will be without forward Charles Hudon for the world junior hockey championships.

The forward, who plays with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, is out with a back injury. His back had been bothering him for a couple of days, and he aggravated the injury in practice on Friday.

He will be replaced by forward Mark McNeill of the Western Hockey League's Prince Albert Raiders. McNeill will join the team in Finland on Saturday while Hudon will return to Canada on Sunday.

Hudon had an assist in Canada's 3-2 exhibition loss versus Finland on Thursday. The Montreal Canadiens prospect has 18 goals and 18 assists in 27 games with Chicoutimi this season.

McNeill has represented Canada at the 2011 IIHF World U18 Championship in Germany and also played for Team Pacific at the 2010 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Timmins, Ont.

A 2011 first-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, McNeill has 13 goals and 26 assists in 35 games with Prince Albert this season.

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We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp