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Hockey Canada kicks off under-17 program overhaul with Calgary camp

Hockey Canada kicks off under-17 program overhaul with Calgary camp

Posted by Christian Miranda on July 29, 2014

Hockey Canada begins an overhaul of its under-17 men’s program this week by bringing together more than 100 of the country’s best 16-year-olds for a new camp.

Along with 54 coaches, equipment managers and medical staff, the nine-day camp in Calgary will be “massive,” according to Scott Salmond, vice-president of hockey operations at Hockey Canada.

“You can imagine how many trainers we need,” Salmond said. Ninety-six skaters and a dozen goaltenders from across Canada will descend Tuesday upon the Markin MacPhail Centre, which houses Hockey Canada’s headquarters, an Olympic-sized rink and three NHL-sized surfaces. The horde will be divided into teams. In addition to playing three games, each player will participate in on-ice skills development and learn national-team systems. Their fitness will be tested, they’ll be fitted for equipment and they’ll participate in seminars on everything from media relations to nutrition.

Among the players summoned are Toronto defenceman Jakob Chychrun, the first overall pick in this year’s OHL draft by Sarnia. Defenceman Luke Green of Bedford, N.S., was the first player drafted in the QMJHL by Saint John. Edmonton forward Tyler Benson was chosen first in last year’s WHL draft by Vancouver. Sixty-six invitees will be chosen to represent their country at the revamped World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. The date of the annual tournament held in Canada has been changed, as well as the host country’s participation in it. Instead of five teams representing Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, West and Pacific regions, Canada will enter three teams, mixing players from different parts of the country.

That means the Canadians will now play in the tournament under the banner of their country, and not their geographical region.

The World Under-17 Hockey Challenge has traditionally been held in late December during its 22 years, but the event will be Nov. 2-8 in Sarnia, Ont.

 

Photo by: hockeycanada.ca

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