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Top prospect Pickard invited to Hockey Canada camp

by Adam Kimelman
Calvin Pickard, NHL Central Scouting's top-rated goaltender for the 2010 Entry Draft, is one of four goaltenders invited to Hockey Canada's National Junior Evaluation Camp, which will help set the roster for the 2011 World Junior Championship.

Fifteen goalies were invited to a Hockey Canada goaltender evaluation camp in Calgary last week -- 10 trying out for the national junior team, plus five trying to make Canada's summer under-18 team that will compete in the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament in August in Slovakia.

Pickard, who plays in the Western Hockey League for the Seattle Thunderbirds, will be joined at the junior evaluation camp -- to be held in St. John's, Nfld., in August -- by Niagara IceDogs goaltender Mark Visentin, No. 4 on Central Scouting's list; the Montreal Juniors' Jean-Francois Berube, a Los Angeles Kings prospect; and the Acadie-Bathurst Titan's Olivier Roy, an Edmonton Oilers prospect.

The 2011 WJC will run Dec. 26 through Jan. 5, 2011 in Buffalo. Canada needs two new goalies for this year's event, after their five-tournament win streak was snapped in an overtime loss to the U.S. in the gold-medal game in January in Saskatoon. Jake Allen, a St. Louis Blues prospect, started the final game, but was replaced by Kings prospect Martin Jones, who allowed the game-winning goal.

The four netminders will join 41 skaters at the junior evaluation camp. Five players from last year's silver medalists -- defensemen Ryan Ellis, Jared Cowen and Calvin de Haan, and forwards Brayden Schenn and Taylor Hall, NHL Central Scouting's No. 2-rated North American skater for the 2010 Entry Draft.

The four goaltenders invited to the Hlinka tryout camp are Robin Gusse of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens; Liam Liston, who likely will play for the Brandon Wheat Kings next season; Jeffrey Noonan, who likely will play for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies next season; and Tyson Teichmann of the Belleville Bulls.

Those four players will join 38 skaters at the tryout camp, to be held July 31-Aug. 3 in Calgary.

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