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Top 2014 draft prospects invited to Canada WJC camp

by Adam Kimelman

NHL Central Scouting's top three North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft were among the 41 players invited Monday to attend Hockey Canada's national junior team summer evaluation camp.

The camp will be held Aug. 3-8 in Brossard, Montreal, and Sherbrooke, Quebec, and is one of the first steps in building the team that will represent Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be played in Montreal and Toronto.


GOALIES: Eric Comrie, Tri-City, WHL (Winnipeg Jets); Philippe Desrosiers, Rimouski, QMJHL (Dallas Stars); Zachary Fucale, Halifax, QMJHL (Montreal Canadiens); Tristan Jarry, Edmonton, WHL (Pittsburgh Penguins)

DEFNSEMEN: Chris Bigras, Owen Sound, OHL (Colorado Avalanche); Madison Bowey, Kelowna, WHL (Washington Capitals); Aaron Ekblad, Barrie, OHL (2014 draft eligible); Haydn Fleury, Red Deer, WHL (2014 draft eligible); Ben Harpur, Guelph, OHL (Ottawa Senators); Dillon Heatherington, Swift Current, WHL (Columbus Blue Jackets); Roland McKeown, Kingston, OHL (2014 draft eligible); Samuel Morin, Rimouski, OHL (Philadelphia Flyers); Joshua Morrissey, Prince Albert, WHL (Winnipeg Jets); Darnell Nurse, Sault Ste. Marie, OHL (Edmonton Oilers); Travis Sanheim, Calgary, WHL (2014 draft eligible); Shea Theodore, Seattle, WHL (Anaheim Ducks)

FORWARDS: Nicholas Baptiste, Sudbury, OHL (Buffalo Sabres); Samuel Bennett, Kingston, OHL (2014 draft eligible); Tyler Bertuzzi, Guelph, OHL (Detroit Red Wings); Gregory Chase, Calgary, WHL (Edmonton Oilers); Michael Dal Colle, Oshawa, OHL (2014 draft eligible); Jason Dickinson, Guelph, OHL (Dallas Stars); Max Domi, London, OHL (Phoenix Coyotes); Jonathan Drouin, Halifax, QMJHL (Tampa Bay Lightning); Anthony Duclair, Quebec, QMJHL (New York Rangers); Robert Fabbri, Guelph, OHL (2014 draft eligible); Frederik Gauthier, Rimouski, QMJHL (Toronto Maple Leafs); Jeremy Gregoire, Baie-Comeau, QMJHL (Montreal Canadiens); Jayce Hawryluk, Brandon, WHL (2014 draft eligible); Bo Horvat, London, OHL (Vancouver Canucks); Morgan Klimchuk, Regina, WHL (Calgary Flames); Curtis Lazar, Edmonton, WHL (Ottawa Senators); Connor McDavid, Erie, OHL (2015 draft eligible); Zach Nastasiuk, Owen Sound, OHL (Detroit Red Wings); Nicholas Paul, North Bay, OHL (Dallas Stars); Brendan Perlini, Niagara, OHL (2014 draft eligible); Nicolas Petan, Portland, WHL (Winnipeg Jets); Brayden Point, Moose Jaw, WHL (2014 draft eligible); Sam Reinhart, Kootenay, WHL (2014 draft eligible); Nicolas Ritchie, Peterborough, OHL (2014 draft eligible); Jake Virtanen, Calgary, WHL (2014 draft eligible)

Centers Samuel Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs and Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice, along with defenseman Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts, were three of the 13 members of the 2014 draft class invited to the camp, including eight of Central Scouting's top nine North American skaters.

Reinhart and Ekblad also are two of the 10 players that were on Canada's team that finished fourth at the 2014 WJC in Malmo, Sweden.

Among the group coming back is Winnipeg Jets prospect Nicolas Petan, who finished second on the team last year with four goals. Also attending the camp are forwards Jonathan Drouin (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Curtis Lazar (Ottawa Senators), who were the team's second- and third-leading point producers, respectively.

Others invited back were goaltender Zachary Fucale (Montreal Canadiens), who went 2-2 with a 2.46 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in five games; defensemen Chris Bigras (Colorado Avalanche) and Joshua Morrissey (Winnipeg Jets); and forwards Bo Horvat (Vancouver Canucks) and Frederik Gauthier (Toronto Maple Leafs).

The youngest player in the camp again will be center Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters, one of the top prospects for the 2015 draft. McDavid had one goal and three assists in seven games at last year's tournament. He was the sixth 16-year-old to play for Canada at the WJC, joining Sidney Crosby, Eric Lindros, Jason Spezza, Jay Bouwmeester and Wayne Gretzky.

In all, 19 NHL teams will have at least one prospect at the camp, including three each for the Winnipeg Jets (Morrissey, Petan, Eric Comrie) and the Dallas Stars (Philippe Desrosiers, Jason Dickinson, Nicholas Paul).

Benoit Groulx, coach of the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, will coach the team; his assistants are Dave Lowry, coach of the Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League, and Scott Walker, coach of the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League.

The camp will feature practices and games against the Czech Republic and Russia. Canada has lost the bronze-medal game to Russia in the previous two World Junior tournaments.

The 2015 WJC will be held Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2014. Canada will play in Group A, along with defending champion Finland, Germany, Slovakia and the United States, and play its preliminary-round games at Bell Centre in Montreal.

Group B will consist of Czech Republic, Denmark, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland, and play its preliminary-round games at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The semifinals and the bronze- and gold-medal games will be played in Toronto.


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