The Hockey Canada U20 World Junior Championship summer development camp is 2 days in and it's been fun to watch 2 teams of highly skilled and motivated players.
I only saw part of Thursday's controlled scrimmage because of my shift at Global TV, but Guy and I caught the first two days of practice sessions this week and it's clear to me that there is more pure skill at this camp than last year's. If Canada can get the right guys back and everyone is mostly healthy Canada should be the favourite heading in despite two straight Silver Medals.
This Saturday we will have massive coverage of the camp and a preview of the Red/White game. Jaden Schwartz recalling his painful (scoring goal on broken ankle) WJC memories and how the hockey community has come to help after the death of his sister Mandi. Jamie Oleksiak on his decision to go Canada rather then Team USA, in the past it's mostly been the other way around. Louis Domingue on playing game 7 of the QMJHL playoffs after his head coach showed zero confidence in him during an interview, how did he deal with that? We've been chatting with a wack of players for this Saturday.
We'll also be joined by Hockey Hall of Fame writer Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal. Matty's always fun to talk hockey with no matter what the level and we'll get his opinion on this year's potential compared to past teams.
This is basically the start of the hockey season for our show, and it's a great time as the U18 Ivan Hlinka is right around the corner and so is U.S.A. Hockey's U20 camp, which gets underway Saturday morning. We'll be discussing that as well. Both Hockey Canada and U.S.A. Hockey have all the schedule info etc on their websites, where you can even watch the games online. It's great to see these games will be available for everyone to watch. I really wish there was a package available for CHL and NCAA hockey games, like NHL Centre Ice, maybe someday.
Guy and I will be all over the Junior hockey beat this Saturday 10-noon mst on the TEAM 1260 in Edmonton or online at thepipelineshow.com.