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Chychrun out for Canada at Ivan Hlinka Memorial

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- Defenseman Jakob Chychrun will not play for Canada at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup following shoulder surgery.

"He’s injured. He had shoulder surgery in April to repair his shoulder," Hockey Canada director of player personnel Ryan Jankowski said Friday. "We thought maybe at one point he might be all right and we wanted to name him. He's going to be unable to participate through the whole thing, through the camp and the Hlinka. He's out."

The U-18 tournament will be played in Bratislava, Slovakia, and Breclav, Czech Republic, from Aug. 10-15.

In 42 games with the Sarnia Sting last season, Chychrun had 16 goals and 17 assists, and was named a third-team Ontario Hockey League all-star. He missed the final five games of the regular season and did not play in the OHL playoffs.

Chychrun, 17, was nominated for OHL rookie of the year and defenseman of the year. He also was Sarnia's nominee for the Red Tilson Trophy as the league's most outstanding player.

"He's a world-class player and is probably one of the best players in the world for his age," said Stan Butler, who will coach Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial. "Anytime you lose a top guy like that, it really hurts, but that's what makes our country so good -- the depth we have in our organization. Although it's disappointing, it's going to give somebody else an opportunity that might've not got that (chance), and they've got to take advantage of that and go from there."

Chychrun was listed on NHL Central Scouting's Futures List for North America and Europe last month and is expected to be one of the top defensemen in the 2016 NHL Draft class.

"He's a high-profile guy," Jankowski said. "He might be one of the best players in this age group. It's too bad Jake doesn't have that opportunity to show himself on the international stage.

"At this point for us, we've got a lot of good players, and I think you always want your best, so you don't have Jake and that's disappointing for us, but I'm more disappointed for Jake to not have the chance to play internationally on this stage."

Chychrun will not be replaced on Canada's roster.

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