Hockey Canada on Wednesday announced its 42 invitees for the 2011 National Men's Summer Under-18 Team selection camp, which will be held July 30 through Aug. 2 in Calgary.
The list consists of 24 forwards, 14 defensemen and four goalies, all of whom are competing for a spot on Canada's entry for the Ivan Hlinka
Memorial Tournament, which will be held in August.
"This selection camp will be competitive and exciting," Hockey Canada head scout Kevin Prendergast said. "These players represent the future of Canadian hockey and are a testament to the strength of the Canadian Hockey League and the skill development taking place in minor hockey associations across the country."
The players, all born in 1994, were selected by Prendergast, in consultation with Kitchener Rangers coach Steve Spott
, Drummondville Voltigeurs coach Mario Duhamel and Spokane Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur. Spott will coach the Hlinka team, with Duhamel and Nachbaur assisting him.
"These players represent the future of Canadian hockey and are a testament to the strength of the Canadian Hockey League and the skill development taking place in minor hockey associations across the country." -- Hockey Canada head scout Kevin Prendergast
Canada has won three straight gold medals at the event.
Of the 42 players invited, 37 are eligible for the 2012 Entry Draft. The other five -- Drummondville goalie Domenic Graham, Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Ryan Pulock and forwards Connor Rankin (Tri-City), Sean Monahan (Ottawa) and Hunter Shinkaruk (Medicine Hat) will be part of the 2013 Draft.
On paper, the club looks extremely tough on defense, with potential 2012 first-round picks in Morgan Rielly of the Moose Jaw Warriors, Griffin Reinhart of the Edmonton Oil Kings, Mathew Dumba of the Red Deer Rebels and Derrick Pouliot of the Portland Winterhawks in the mix.
Red Deer forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
, rated No. 1 among North American skaters eligible for the 2011 Entry Draft by NHL Central Scouting, feels teammate Dumba is a star in the making. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound blueliner had 15 goals and 26 points for Red Deer last season.
"I'm sure it won't take long before he starts getting a lot more attention," Nugent-Hopkins said. "He has huge upside and will be a great player next year for the Rebels."
NHL Central Scouting's Peter Sullivan
thinks the 6-foot, 190-pound Rielly, who had 6 goals and 28 points for the Warriors in 2010-11, has the potential to be a future star.
"Rielly will lift you out of your seat," Sullivan told NHL.com. "He's an exceptional skater; he skates as well as anyone that's ever played in the WHL. He twists and turns on a dime and is very exciting to watch."
Offensively, Kitchener's Matia Marcantuoni, who had 11 goals and 27 points in 42 games this past season, could be a top performer.
"He's a very good skater, good skills and will definitely be one to watch," said Central Scouting's Al Jensen.
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
Team Canada National Men's Summer Under-18 Team selection camp
Daniel Altshuller (Nepean, CCHL); Domenic Graham (Drummondville, QMJHL); Matt Murray (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL); Francois Tremblay (Val d'Or, QMJHL).
Gianluca Curcuruto (Sault Ste. Marie, OHL); Mathew Dumba (Red Deer, WHL); Matt Finn (Guelph, OHL); Jesse Graham (Niagara, OHL); Slater Koekkoek (Peterborough, OHL); Michael Matheson (Lac St-Louis, LHMAAAQ); Marcus McIvor (Brampton, OHL); Adam Pelech (Erie, OHL); Dominic Poulin (Chicoutimi, QMJHL); Derrick Pouliot (Portland, WHL); Ryan Pulock (Brandon, WHL); Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton, WHL); Morgan Rielly (Moose Jaw, WHL); Nicholas Walters (Everett, WHL).
Andreas Athanasiou (London, OHL); Troy Bourke (Prince George, WHL); Mathew Campagna (Sudbury, OHL); Luca Ciampini (Halifax, QMJHL); Brendan Gaunce (Belleville, OHL); Felix Girard (Baie-Comeau, QMJHL); Charles Hudon (Chicoutimi, QMJHL); Justin Kea (Saginaw, OHL); Scott Laughton (Oshawa, OHL); Brendan Leipsic (Portland, WHL); Brandon Magee (Victoria, WHL); Jarrod Maidens (Owen Sound, OHL); Matia Marcantuoni (Kitchener, OHL); Chris Marchese (Erie, OHL); Sean Monahan (Ottawa, OHL); Ryan Olsen (Saskatoon, WHL); Connor Rankin (Tri-City, WHL); Kerby Rychel (Windsor, OHL); Tyrel Seaman (Brandon, WHL); Hunter Shinkaruk, Medicine Hat (WHL); Gemel Smith (Owen Sound, OHL); Chandler Stephenson (Regina, WHL); Robert Trzonkowski (Calgary, WHL); Thomas Wilson (Plymouth, OHL).