With the United States hosting Sweden and Finland right now in Lake Placid, NY and Hockey Canada set to begin their camp in Newfoundland on Wednesday, the Edmonton Oilers are being well represented. 6 key prospects are taking part in the sessions for the respective Nation right now, one has already been cut while others are still waiting to get on the ice this week.
First, Team USA has cut its 42-man camp down to 28 as the inter-squad portion of their annual event has ended. Unfortunately for Tyler Pitlick, he didn't make it through to the games against Sweden and Finland. That doesn't necessarily preclude his involvement in the 2011 World Junior Championship in Buffalo, but it will take a really strong 3-month performance in Medicine Hat to get him there. (Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)
Head Coach Keith Allain told us last week on The Pipeline Show that he'll follow the example of gold medal winning coach Dean Blais last year and hold another camp in December. Pitlick will be vying for a spot at that tryout but it will be very tough to crack the US team this year with 8 returning players. 2012 in Edmonton/Calgary is probably more realistic.
Finland's roster in Lake Placid doesn't include Teemu Pulkkinen or Mikael Granlund but Toni Rajala is there. He went pointless in a 5-3 loss to Sweden on Monday.
Speaking of the Swedes, Anton Lander also failed to hit the score sheet on Monday although Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson managed a second assist. The Swedes will take on the host Americans on Tuesday. NHL.com has a solid summary of the game HERE.
All teams play each other twice in the event which is terrific. It's unfortunate that these three countries find a way to play against each other while Canada appears content to play... with itself.
Canada's U20 camp begins Wednesday in St. John's where it will be very well attended by onlookers. Edmonton will have two players on the ice in goalie Olivier Roy and forward Curtis Hamilton. Taylor Hall declined to participate, presumably to not risk injury before beginning his NHL career with the Oilers.
Roy, now with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, is probably considered the favorite to win the starter's job as the only returnee from WJC camps last year. However, the other three netminders he is competing with were all drafted earlier than he was so it is by no means a sure thing.
Hamilton might have a tough time making the squad but will be a strong contender for 2012 in Edmonton/Calgary.
Slovakia's entry to the 2011 WJC will surely include defenceman Martin Marincin so the Oilers will have another player involved in the tournament from that country.