Seven returning members from 2010 are included in the list of 46 players invited by Hockey Canada to the summer U20 camp in Edmonton. Four goalies, 16 defencemen and 26 forwards have got the call so far, there may be some changes due to injury, so not everything is set in stone. As always, there are some eyebrow raising invites and some surprising omissions as well.
Some interesting players are on their way to Edmonton including a pair of underaged defencemen not eligible for the NHL Draft until 2012; Everett's Ryan Murray, who should be considered a lock for the final club, and Cody Ceci of the Ottawa 67's.
Martin Lefebvre, an undrafted '92 born blueliner that plays for the Quebec Remparts, is on the list as is forward Patrick Holland, a 7th round pick in 2010 of the Calgary Flames.
Brothers Freddie (SJ) and Dougie Hamilton, both members of the OHL's Niagara IceDogs, received invites.
The seven returning players who are practically assured of a roster spot are netminder Mark Visentin (PHX), defender Erik Gudbranson (FLA) and forwards Jaden Schwartz (STL), Brett Connolly (TBY), Sean Couturier, Ryan Johansen (CLB) and Quintin Howden (FLA). It's quite plausible that a number of those names could be on the back of a NHL jersey in 2011-12 so their availability to Hockey Canada is far from guaranteed.
That opens things up for the rest of the field though, a group that is packed with players who will be drafted next week.
Jonathan Huberdeau, Phil Danault, Lucas Lessio, Boone Jenner, Matt Puempel, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Mark Scheifele, Ryan Strome and Ty Rattie are among that group. The backend features Joe Morrow, Duncan Siemens, Dillon Simpson, Stu Percy, Nathan Beaulieau, Ryan Murphy and the aforementioned Dougie Hamilton.
There are some noticeable absences, especially from the Class of 2011.
Mark McNeill, a probable top-20 pick, is no where to be seen. Soo Greyhounds Dan Catenacci and Nick Cousins, the latter was a terror for Canada at the recent U18s, also were passed over. Oil Kings Michael St. Croix and Travis Ewanyk didn't make the grade for the summer camp, a tad surprising for Ewanyk who was excellent for Canada at the U18s too.
One defenceman who passed over but is worth keeping track of before December is Red Deer's Alex Petrovic (FLA).
The recent goalie camp obviously influenced the choice of keepers headed to camp. Both Tyler Bunz (EDM) and Louie Domingue (PHX) performed well there although I am surprised that Scott Wedgewood (NJ) beat out both J.P Andersen (SJ) and Calvin Pickard (COL)who were invites to the December camp in 2010. The injury to Sam Brittain (FLA) may have robbed Canada of a potential starter as well.
The summer camp will be held in Edmonton and Fort. McMurray from August 3-7th and will feature inter-squad games on the 6th and 7th in those two Alberta cities. Here is the official release from Hockey Canada.