Hockey Canada has announced a roster of 41 players invited to its virtual National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp, set for July 27-31, as well as the assistant coaches that will work behind the Team Canada bench at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Five goaltenders, 10 defencemen and 26 forwards will attend the five-day virtual camp, participating in a variety of sessions with a focus on player development through online education. The roster includes seven players who helped Canada win gold at the 2020 World Juniors (Byfield, Byram, Cozens, Drysdale, Lafrenière, McMichael, Mercer). Of the 41 players, 16 were selected at the 2019 NHL Draft, 22 will hope to have their name called at the 2020 draft, two are eligible in 2021 and one is eligible in 2022.
It is expected that Washington Capitals prospect Connor McMichael will participate in his second World Junior Championship for team Canada in December and January. He had five goals and two assists in seven games players in the 2020 World Junior Championship last winter, including a gold medal. (More here.)
McMichael also participated in last year’s Summer Showcase. He wrapped the series with two goals on eight shots in just two games played. His two goals was tied for ninth best of the tournament, even though he only played in two games. (More here.)
FROM HOCKEY CANADA MEDIA RELEASE
In addition, Michael Dyck (Lethbridge, Alta./Vancouver, WHL) and Mitch Love (Quesnel, B.C./Saskatoon, WHL) have been named assistant coaches, working alongside Program of Excellence management group lead Alan Millar (Tottenham, Ont./Moose Jaw, WHL) and head coach André Tourigny (Nicolet, Que./Ottawa, OHL), who were announced earlier this year.
“We are excited to begin preparations for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship with this group of 41 players and our full staff at our online camp, as we believe we have a good mix of veteran leadership and young talent that are eager to represent Canada during the holiday season,” said Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams for Hockey Canada. “We are also pleased to have Michael and Mitch round out the coaching staff, as their Canadian Hockey League and international experience will compliment André’s leadership while we work towards defending our gold medal on home ice.”
Dyck recently completed his second season as head coach of the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League. He previously served as head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes (2005-09), was an assistant with the Medicine Hat Tigers (1996-97), Lethbridge (1997-2002), the Vancouver Giants (2002-05) and Kootenay ICE (2013-14), and coached the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the Alberta Midget Hockey League (AMHL) to a bronze medal at the 2018 TELUS Cup, Canada’s U18 Club Championship. Dyck was head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, leading the team to a silver medal. He was also head coach of Team Pacific at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2010 and 2012, won a silver medal with Canada at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games, and coached Alberta to silver at the 2015 Canada Winter Games.
Love returns to Canada’s National Junior Team for the second-consecutive year after winning a gold medal as an assistant coach at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. He was named head coach of the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL in May 2017 after eight seasons (2009-17) as an assistant coach with the Everett Silvertips. In 2018, Love won a gold medal as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. He also won gold as an assistant with Team Canada White at the 2015 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and was an assistant with Team Canada Red in 2016.
The 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship returns to Canadian ice this December, with Edmonton and Red Deer set to co-host the annual holiday tradition. Games will be played at Rogers Place, the home of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers and the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings, and at the Westerner Park Centrium, home of the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels.
For more information on Hockey Canada or Canada’s National Junior Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook, Twitter and Twitter.com/HC_WJC.
By Jon Sorensen
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