7 Albertans, including NHLer Dach, among those invited to Team Canada's World Juniors selection camp
EDMONTON -- Seven Albertans are among the record-high 47 players invited to compete for a Team Canada roster spot at the upcoming 2021 World Juniors in Edmonton.
The 47 will compete at the World Juniors selection camp between Nov. 16 and Dec. 13 inside a cohort bubble in Red Deer.
The camp will include practices, three intrasquad games and six games against a team of U Sports all-stars.
"We expect a highly competitive selection camp with a number of difficult decisions to be made when it comes time to select the players who will wear the Maple Leaf in Edmonton in December," said Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada's senior vice-president of national teams.
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The seven Alberta invitees include Edmonton Oilers draft pick Dylan Holloway from Bragg Creek, Alta. and two Sherwood Park defenceman, Kaiden Guhle and Matthew Robertson of the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Calgary's Taylor Gauthier, Lethbridge's Ridly Greig and Okotoks' Peyton Krebs round out the Alberta invitees.
And, Fort Saskatchewan's Kirby Dach is also invited after the Chicago Blackhawks released him to participate ahead of the NHL's 2021 season.
The camp roster includes five goaltenders, 15 defencemen and 27 forwards, and also features 22 players taken in the 2020 NHL draft as well as 18 prospects from the 2019 NHL Draft.
Returning invitees from last-year's gold-medal winning team include Quinton Byfield, Bowen Byram, Dylan Cozens, Jamie Drysdale, Connor McMichael and Dawson Mercer.
Rosters at this year's tournament can include two more skaters than last year, up to 22, as well as three goaltenders.
Canada's three major junior hockey leagues have taken different approaches to returning to play.
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League opened its season on Oct. 2 but COVID restrictions and outbreaks have forced teams to delay or postpone games.
The Ontario Hockey League plans to begin a 40-game season but not until February.
And, the Western Hockey League is eyeing a 50-game season starting in January and running until May 2.
BOXING DAY OPENER
Canada is drawn in Pool A along with Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland and Finland.
Pre-tournament games are scheduled between Dec. 20 and Dec. 23, with Canada scheduled to face Sweden and Russia in the lead-up to the tournament opener on Christmas Day.
Team Canada opens tournament play on Boxing Day afternoon against Germany.
Last year, Canada defeated Russia 4-3 to secure its 18th World Juniors gold medal.
The tournament had been scheduled to be co-hosted by Edmonton and Red Deer, but the International Ice Hockey Federation announced in September that the event would be held at Rogers Place alone without fans due to COVID-19 precautions.
All teams and officials will stay within the Ice District, similar to the bubble that hosted the NHL playoffs and Stanley Cup final.
The event was last held in Alberta in 2012 when Calgary and Edmonton co-hosted the tournament. The World Juniors were last contested in Canada in 2019 when Vancouver and Victoria split hosting duties.