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Tambellini tops draft-eligibles at Canada West camp

by Mike G. Morreale

Hockey Canada on Wednesday released the 60-man roster attending training camp for team Canada West that will participate in the World Junior A Challenge, to be held Nov. 5-11 at the Mariners Centre in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

The Canada West camp will be held Oct. 28-31 at the Markin MacPhail Center in Calgary. Players for the camp were selected from the Canadian Junior Hockey League's five western Junior A leagues: the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) and Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL).

"With the talent on the ice in Canada's five western Junior A leagues this season, it was no easy feat to get down to 60 players," Canada West coach Dean Brockman said in a statement. "We're excited to get on the ice in Calgary to choose the 22 players who will wear the red and white and represent the west in Yarmouth."

Among the players picked, 57 are eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, including left wing Adam Tambellini of the Vernon Vipers in the British Columbia Hockey League. Three players on the roster were selected in the 2012 Draft -- forward Alex Kerfoot (New Jersey), defenseman James de Haas (Detroit) and goalie Matt Tomkins (Chicago).

Tambellini (6-foot-4, 177 pounds), the son of Edmonton Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini, was rated a B skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list from the British Columbia Hockey League. In his first season in 2011-12, Tambellini, who is committed to the University of North Dakota in the fall of 2013, struck for 27 goals and 56 points in 55 games.

There are two other B skaters, including defensemen Nolan De Jong of the Victoria Grizzlies in the BCHL and Paul Stoykewych of the Winnipeg Blues in the MJHL. Four other players earned C rankings from Central Scouting -- defensemen Marshall Donald of the Sherwood Park Crusaders (AJHL) and Luke Ripley of the Powell River Kings (BCHL) and forwards Dexter Dancs of the Penticton Vees (BCHL), Nelson Gadoury of the Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL), Dante Hahn of Victoria (BCHL) and Kurt Keats of Winnipeg (MJHL).

Brockman, who coaches St. Benedict in the SJHL, will have six goalies, 18 defensemen and 36 forwards to choose from at camp.

Canada West will play in Group A with the Czech Republic and Russia. Canada East will join Switzerland and the United States in Group B.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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