Hockey Canada recently announced that 44 of Canada’s top junior aged players (born in 1987 or later) have been invited to attend Canada’s U-20 National Junior Team Development Camp from July 23-28, 2006 in Calgary, Alberta.
Included among those 44 players are Sharks first round draft selections Devin Setoguchi (2005, 8th overall) and Ty Wishart (2006, 16th overall) and 2005 second round selection Marc-Edouard Vlasic
(35th overall, acquired from Calgary in exchange for G Miikka Kiprusoff).
Setoguchi spent last season with Saskatoon (Western Hockey League), finishing seventh in the League in points (83) in 65 games while leading his team in goals (36) and finishing second in assists (47). He also added 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in 10 WHL playoff games. The Taber, Alberta native attended last year’s Team Canada Development Camp and signed his first professional contract with San Jose on April 8, 2006.
Vlasic, who also attended last year’s Team Canada Development Camp, recently completed his third season with the Quebec Remparts and won a Memorial Cup Championship. During the regular season, he finished fourth among all QMJHL defensemen in scoring with 73 points (16 goals, 57 assists) in 66 games and was second among Remparts blueliners. A Quebec assistant captain, Vlasic finished third on the team in plus/minus with a +41.
In 25 QMJHL Playoff games, Vlasic posted 29 points (five goals, 24 assists), first among all League defensemen and fifth overall. He also added three assists in the Memorial Cup Playoffs, including an assist on the championship-winning goal. He led all players in the championship series with a +7.
Wishart, selected 16th overall by San Jose in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft on June 24, finished fifth on the Prince George Raiders (WHL) in scoring with 37 points (five goals, 32 assists). His +12 ranking was second-best on the team.
The National Junior Team Development Camp is the first step in a process that Hockey Canada follows to name Canada’s National Junior Team roster in December. Following this July camp, Hockey Canada’s Men’s National Teams Program will continue to monitor and evaluate these players and other eligible players in the Canadian Hockey League, as well as in the junior and college ranks in Canada and the USA. .
In late November or early December, Hockey Canada will invite a shorter list of players to the National Junior Team Selection Camp which takes place in mid-December. During the December Selection Camp, the coaching staff will select the 22 players that will represent Canada at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship in Leksand, Sweden.
The players invited to the July 2006 National Junior Team Development Camp are identified, evaluated and selected based on evaluation reports conducted during the 2005-06 season as well as performances on Under-17, Under-18 and National Junior teams at 2005-06 events, with input from the coaches on Canada’s 2006-07 National Junior and National Under-18 teams and a network of CHL contacts as identified by Canada’s National Junior Team Policy Committee.
Canada’s National Junior Team Development Camp in July will be under the direction of Head Coach Craig Hartsburg.