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Top picks to compete for Canada at camp

by Arpon Basu /

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Three of the top four picks from the 2014 NHL Draft are scheduled to be in action Tuesday when the Canadian national junior team begins the competitive component of its summer development camp.

Canada will be breaking its group of 41 players taking part in the camp at the Montreal Canadiens' training facility just outside Montreal into two teams for games Tuesday and Wednesday against the Czech Republic and Russia.

The first group scheduled to face the Czech Republic on Tuesday at Ed Meagher Arena on the campus of Concordia University in Montreal includes defenseman Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers) and forwards Sam Reinhart (Buffalo Sabres) and Sam Bennett (Calgary Flames), the first, second and fourth picks in this year's draft.

The second group scheduled for the game Wednesday against Russia to be played at the Palais des sports Leopold-Drolet in Sherbrooke, Quebec is headlined by Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters in the Ontario Hockey League, the consensus top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft and the only undrafted player at the camp.

How the goaltenders will be used in these games has yet to be confirmed, though goaltending coach Fred Brathwaite said each of the four goaltenders in camp should see 60 minutes of action, whether that's by playing a complete game or parts of two games.

Forward Jake Virtanen (Vancouver Canucks), the sixth pick in this year's draft, is unable to play due to an injury, leaving an open spot on the roster of Group 2.

Canada will play Russia again on Thursday in Sherbrooke and the Czech Republic on Friday in Montreal, but the lineups for those two games have not been determined.

Here are the tentative lineups scheduled to play Tuesday and Wednesday.

Group 1 (Tuesday)

Nick RitchieSam ReinhartAnthony Duclair

Jason DickinsonCurtis LazarBrayden Point

Brendan PerliniSam BennettJayce Hawryluk

Tyler Bertuzzi – Frederick Gauthier – Greg Chase

Josh Morrissey – Aaron Ekblad

Darnell NurseRoland McKeown

Samuel MorinHaydn Fleury

Zach Fucale

Tristan Jarry

Group 2 (Wednesday)

Max Domi – Nic Petan – Nick Baptiste

Michael Dal ColleBo HorvatZach Nastasiuk

Morgan Klimchuk – Connor McDavid – Jeremy Gregoire

Nick Paul – Robby Fabbri

Chris BigrasMadison Bowey

Shea TheodoreDillon Heatherington

Travis SanheimBen Harpur

Philippe Desrosiers

Eric Comrie

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