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2012 World Junior Championship

Canada camp vets hope experience leads to spot

Friday, 08.05.2011 / 10:13 AM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

EDMONTON -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said he was a tad timid, Mark Pysyk believed he was too cautious and Ryan Murphy admitted the pace caught him by surprise.

Each player felt they were left off Canada's 2011 world junior championship team, which won the silver medal in Buffalo, for those reasons. They came close -- each was invited to Canada's final selection camp in Toronto in December -- but the disappointment of not making the team eventually would hit home.

All of them were invited to return to Canada's development camp this week, and each is hoping for a little retribution this year.

"It's definitely different this year," Nugent-Hopkins said. "I came into December camp last year and I was a little more timid than I should have been. Now I have more confidence and I feel good out here. I think having that experience is just really going to help me. You have to show confidence and assertiveness out there."

Blais taking 'show me' attitude into eval camp

Friday, 08.05.2011 / 9:00 AM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Dean Blais, who will guide the U.S. at the 2012 World Junior Championship, said he'll arrive in Lake Placid for this week's national junior evaluation camp with a clean slate and an open mind.

So the message is being sent to all 44 players invited to the camp -- including the nine who helped the U.S. win the bronze medal last year in Buffalo -- that past performance does not guarantee future roster spots.

"There's no favorites going into the camp," Blais told "I wasn't there in Buffalo. I don't know how they performed. I don't care how they performed. All that matters is how they perform in Lake Placid."

After tough choices, Oleksiak ready to play

Thursday, 08.04.2011 / 2:09 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

EDMONTON, Alta. -- Now that the decision has been made to leave Northeastern University and join the Saginaw Spirit in the Ontario Hockey League for the 2011-12 season, defenseman Jamieson Oleksiak would just like to focus on what he does best -- play hockey.
Oleksiak, taken by the Dallas Stars with the 14th pick of the 2011 Entry Draft, didn't at all appear uncomfortable discussing his decision that was certainly a hot topic when made back on July 25. He was focused and straightforward and is obviously excited to be invited to the Canadian National Junior development camp this week. Having a shot at wearing the maple leaf logo on his jersey is something he couldn't really put into words.
Oleksiak, who holds dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship, had been invited to attend USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp held Aug. 6-13 in Lake Placid, N.Y., but instead opted for Hockey Canada camp.
"Sure, it was probably tough at the dinner table having an American mom and Canadian dad," Canada head scout Kevin Prendergast said. "But this is his first attempt at being a part of the Team Canada scenario. We had to do a lot of selling to get him here and play, and I'm glad he made the decision to play for Canada."

From tragedy, Schwartz finds motivation

Thursday, 08.04.2011 / 9:59 AM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

EDMONTON, Alta. -- Jaden Schwartz wanted to make one thing perfectly clear when asked how excited he was to be given another shot to accompany the Canadian National Junior Team to the World Junior Championship in December.
"From here on out, this tournament, this camp -- everything is for (my sister)," Schwartz told following the opening day of Canada's development camp at Rexall Place. "While I'm obviously trying to do this for me, my family and for Canada; most of all, it's for her."
It was only four months ago Mandi Schwartz lost a courageous two-year battle to acute myeloid leukemia. She was only 23.
As you might expect, the wounds are still fresh and not a day goes by that Jaden doesn't think of his sister. The only difference now, he's able to put those feelings into words and share with others willing to listen.

Junior camp to serve as chemistry experiment

Wednesday, 08.03.2011 / 5:40 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

EDMONTON, Alta. -- So what, exactly, are Canada national junior team coach Don Hay and Hockey Canada head scout Kevin Prendergast actually looking for this week from the players invited to the five-day development camp that could determine most of the 22-player roster headed to the 2012 World Junior Championship?
Just hours before hitting the ice in the first of eight practice sessions here at Rexall Place, the coach and scout set the record straight in an interview with
"It's a chance to see the chemistry between these players … seeing who fits with who," Prendergast told "It's more for the coaches since we have one from Ontario (George Burnett, Belleville Bulls) and two from the West (Hay, Vancouver Giants; Ryan Huska, Kelowna Rockets). It gives them a chance to familiarize themselves with players from different leagues and to get an idea what they look like on the ice, skating and personality-wise. It gives everyone an opportunity to see which guys definitely deserve to be here come December and which guys maybe played their way out."

Three top picks skipping Sweden junior camp

Wednesday, 08.03.2011 / 4:10 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Three players who could play key roles for Sweden at the 2012 World Junior Championship have been removed from the roster of players attending next week's junior evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y.

All three were first-round picks at the 2011 Entry Draft -- left wing Gabriel Landeskog (No. 2, Avalanche), and defenseman Adam Larsson (No. 4, Devils) and Oscar Klefbom (No. 19, Oilers).

Pulkkinen tops Finland roster for junior camp

Monday, 08.01.2011 / 10:52 PM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Teemu Pulkkinen, who totaled a team-best 9 points for Finland at the 2011 World Junior Championship, is one of the 24 players that will take part in a junior evaluation camp next week in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Pulkkinen, a 2010 fourth-round pick of the Detroit Red Wings, is one of six players returning from last year's team that finished sixth in Buffalo.

Also at the camp from last year's team are goaltender Sami Aittokallio, defenseman Olli Maatta, and forwards Joel Armia, Joonas Donskoi and Miikka Salomaki.

The camp runs Aug. 6-13, at the Olympic Center, and will feature exhibition games between the United States, Sweden and Finland.

Hay gets first look at Canada WJC hopefuls

Sunday, 07.31.2011 / 10:30 AM / 2012 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Don Hay hopes the players chosen to represent Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship are in some way similar to those he helped lead to a gold medal at the 1995 tournament in Red Deer, Alta.

That team, which went 7-0-0 and outscored its opponents 49-22, included as part of its 22-man roster Bryan McCabe, Ed Jovanovski and Wade Redden on defense and Jason Allison, Jeff Friesen, Ryan Smyth and Alexandre Daigle at forward. 
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