Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), announced June 17, 2011 the 46 players invited to attend Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp that will be held in Edmonton and Fort McMurray, AB from August 3-7, 2011. Brett Connolly (Prince George, BC), Brendan Gallagher (Tsawwassen, BC), Ryan Johansen (Port Moody, BC) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Burnaby, BC) were selected to attend the camp.
Connolly has been a leader for the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League (WHL) since he was drafted tenth overall in the 2007 Bantam Draft. During the 2008-2009 season he became the first 16-year-old in 13 years to score 30 goals, and was named WHL and CHL Rookie of the year. In the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Connolly was selected sixth overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Gallagher is coming off a career best season with the Vancouver Giants of the WHL, finishing as a plus-30 and scoring 44 goals and 47 assists for a total of 91 points. In the 2010-2011 season, Gallagher received WHL West First All-Star Team honours. He was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL Draft.
Johansen has played for the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL, and was selected fourth overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft after his rookie WHL season. He competed for the Canadian national junior team at the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship, where he earned a silver medal and was named to the Tournament All-Star Team.
Nugent-Hopkins is the top-rated prospect leading in to the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He has played for the Red Deer Rebels in the WHL, where he is currently coming off a season scoring 31 goals and 75 assists for a total of 106 points and was a plus-29.
The 46 players who made the roster were selected by Hockey Canada head scout Kevin Prendergast, with assistance from Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s senior director of hockey operations and national teams Scott Salmond, head coach Don Hay (Vancouver, WHL) and assistant coaches George Burnett (Belleville, OHL), Ryan Huska (Kelowna, WHL) and Pascal Vincent (Montreal, QMJHL). Players were evaluated over the 2010-2011 season, during both league play and international under-18 and under-20 programs.
The Development Camp is the first step in identifying players that will represent Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be held from December 26, 2011 – January 5, 2012 in Calgary and Edmonton, AB. Prendergast will evaluate the 46 players at the camp in August, and will continue to monitor potential candidates throughout the season before inviting a group of players to a final selection camp that will be held in December. Following the final camp, 22 players will be named to Canada’s National Junior Team roster.
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