Hockey Canada ia holding its annual National Teams’ Summer Showcase, a series of development and selection camps that kick off the 2017-18 season.
The first wave of invites have been issued to 197 men’s team hopefuls. Beginning on July 22, 111 players will assemble in Calgary for the national under-17 development camp. Among those attending are Penticton Vees recruits Luke Reid and Massimo Rizzo, who the Vees are waiting to hear from if he will join the team next season. Rizzo if a Burnaby product, who played last season for the Burnaby Winter Club.
Reid, who joins the Vees from the Battlefords AAA Stars, said it’s a huge honour to get this invite.
“It’s every kids dream to play for their country and get the chance to try and make the team,” said Reid. “It’s just amazing.”
Last season Reid suited up for Team Saskatchewan under-16 for the Western Canadian Challenge Cup. The Warman, Sask. product received a call from Hockey Canada recently asking him to attend.
“I look forward to seeing what it’s like there,” he said.
As they wind down their on- and off-ice sessions, a group of 44 players – four goaltenders, 16 defencemen, and 24 forwards – will arrive and vie for a spot on Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team during a five-day selection camp.
Meanwhile, 42 prospects looking to earn an invitation to selection camp in December will make their way to Plymouth, Mich., for Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp. Among the invitees are four goaltenders, 13 defencemen, and 25 forwards. Former Vees Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro are among those invited.
Ryan Jankowski, director of player personnel for Hockey Canada, was responsible for all player selections, with assistance from regional scouts Carl Bouchard (Quebec), Barclay Branch (Ontario), Barclay Parneta (West), Kevin Mitchell (Atlantic), and Darrell Woodley (Ontario), Canadian Hockey League general managers and branch representatives for the under-17 roster, and with input from coaches and general managers from across the CHL for the under-18 and under-20 rosters.
“For about three-and-a-half weeks in July and August, we get to see all of the players in our program concentrated in two locations, which gives our management team, coaches, and staff a chance to develop, first and foremost, what we feel is our top talent in Canada, and evaluate those players as we look to put together winning teams throughout the upcoming season,” said Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams. “It’s a great opportunity for these players who are working towards earning a chance to wear the Team Canada jersey, and I want to thank Ryan [Jankowski] and his team for the diligence they’ve put into helping us identify this group of players.”