Hockey Canada announced its first round of cuts from the Team Canada U20 selection camp on Thursday. Washington Capitals’ 2020 first round draft pick Hendrix Lapierre was one of the first seven cut.
Seven players have been released from Team Canada’s selection camp.
Goaltenders: Brett Brochu and Tristan Lennox
Forwards: Adam Beckman, Tyson Foerster, Hendrix Lapierre, Cole Schwindt and Shane Wright
— TSN 1200 (@TSN1200) December 10, 2020
Lapierre faced stiff competition in this year’s selection camp, held in Red Deer, Alberta, which included fellow Capitals prospect Connor McMichael.
Lapierre was a relative long shot to make this year’s team, but the experience was good for the 18-year old. This was Lapierre’s first selection camp, and he should be a strong candidate for next year’s team.
Camp was unexpectedly cut short following two positive COVID-19 tests and a subsequent 14-day quarantine for the entire team. “We lost two weeks in quarantine, but I feel like everyone’s in the same boat right now and we all have only two games to show ourselves,” said Lapierre before Wednesday night’s third scrimmage.
Lapierre started the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League season strong with eight points in five games with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens, but the Washington Capitals first rounder got off to a slow start in Red Deer.
“I wasn’t really satisfied with my start to the camp,” Lapierre readily admitted after the team’s second scrimmage. “I feel like the two next games are really huge for me. I want to show the whole coaching staff that I can play pretty much every role, that I can win faceoffs, that I can be good defensively, that I can make the little details correctly. We lost two weeks in quarantine, but I feel like everyone’s in the same boat right now and we all have only two games to show ourselves.”
Lapierre played only 19 games during an injury-plagued 2019-20 season, but was excellent at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup with 11 points in five games.
“They’ve been following us for [years] now so they know what we’re capable of and right now it’s just about showing consistency and showing that we can play as a group and do pretty much every detail right on the ice,” Lapierre said on Wednesday.
“There’s a lot of guys with things to prove and nothing’s made so far,” said Lapierre. “In our rooms [during quarantine] we really had time to think about that and prepare for now so there’s no excuses. Everyone has to be ready and if you’re not it’s going to be your fault if you get cut.”
Lapierre started Wednesday night’s scrimmage on a line with Cole Schwindt and 16-year-old sensation Shane Wright. He recorded 0 points in three scrimmages while in camp.
Lapierre will now return to QMJHL Chicoutimi.
By Jon Sorensen
Related Reading: 2021 World Junior Championship
Connor McMichael: “I Like The Pressure, I Think That’s When I Play My Best”
Team Canada Cleared to Return To Ice Following 14-Day Quarantine
Martin Hugo Has Officially Invited To Czech Junior Team Selection Camp
Team Canada to undergo 14-day quarantine after two players test positive for COVID-19
Team Canada postpones third scrimmage after two players test positive for COVID-19
On loan for two weeks before returning to Czech Republic U20 camp, Martin Hugo Has is making an impact with HC Benátky
Team White Downs Team Red In Second Team Canada Scrimmage
Connor McMichael and Hendrix Lapierre do battle in first Team Canada scrimmage
Connor McMichael: “We have a big opportunity in front of us to repeat”
Report From Day One Of Team Canada’s U20 Selection Camp
Connor McMichael and Hendrix Lapierre Report To Team Canada U20 Selection Camp
Martin Hugo Has Is Happy To Be Back At Work, Even If It’s Inside A Bubble