Mackenzie Blackwood of the Barrie Colts, NHL Central Scouting's top-ranked North American goaltender for the 2015 NHL Draft, was one of nine goaltenders invited to Hockey Canada's Program of Excellence goaltending camp.
The camp, which will be held June 12-14 at Canlan Ice Sports in Etobicoke, Ontario, is the first step toward picking the goaltenders who will play for Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Blackwood, 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, went 33-14-2 with a 3.09 goals-against average, .906 save percentage and two shutouts in 51 regular-season games. He also had a 2.88 GAA and .922 save percentage in nine OHL playoff games.
"Mackenzie's overall net coverage is excellent," Central Scouting's Al Jensen said. "His size and explosive leg power pushes is a great asset in his lateral ability. He is able to get across laterally with ease and very quickly, always being in control. Another advantage is when he drops in the butterfly he covers the lower corners post-to-post with his excellent leg extension while sealing the ice. While he's in the butterfly he also keeps his upper body in an upright position with his glove in the proper position as well to cover the upper half of the net. There are not many holes for the shooters to shoot at."
Seven of the nine goaltenders at the camp are ranked on Central Scouting's top 30 for the 2015 draft, including the top four: Blackwood, Callum Booth of the Quebec Remparts (No. 2), Samuel Montembault of the Blainville-Broisbriand Armada (No. 3), and Adin Hill of the Portland Winterhawks (No. 4).
Also invited to the camp was Mason McDonald, whom the Calgary Flames selected in the second round (No. 34) of the 2014 draft, as well as two goaltenders eligible for the 2016 draft: Evan Cormier of the Saginaw Spirit and Zachary Sawchenko of the Moose Jaw Warriors.
Also attending the camp will be seven goaltenders competing for spots with Canada for the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in August: Evan Fitzpatrick of the Sherbrooke Phoenix; Carter Hart of the Everett Silvertips; Samuel Harvey of the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies; Ryan Kubic of the Brookings Blizzard of the North American Hockey League; Joseph Raaymakers of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds; Stuart Skinner of the Lethbridge Hurricanes; and Dylan Wells of the Peterborough Petes.
There also will be 18 goaltenders at the camp working for spots with Canada for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
"We have tremendous goaltending talent across the country; this opportunity to bring them together for a three-day camp is key in the success of their ongoing growth and development," said Fred Brathwaite, Hockey Canada Program of Excellence goaltending consultant. "This is an excellent opportunity for not only the players, but all of our staff and coaches, to come together for instruction and development both on and off the ice."
Among those also working with the players at the camp will be Anaheim Ducks goaltending consultant Dwayne Roloson, Dallas Stars goaltending coach Mike Valley and Ottawa Senators goaltending coach Rick Wamsley.