Hockey Canada still holding out hope that Lafreniere can play in world juniors

Hockey Canada still holding out hope that Lafreniere can play in world juniors

CALGARY — The Canadian junior hockey team will play the waiting game with Alexis Lafreniere and the New York Rangers after learning Thursday that another NHLer will join the squad for selection camp.

Chicago Blackhawks centre Kirby Dach was loaned to Canada and will be part of the 47-player selection camp Nov. 16-Dec. 13 in Red Deer, Alta.

Hockey Canada said if the NHL season starts before the world junior championship in Edmonton ends on Jan. 5, Dach will return to the Blackhawks.

Lafreniere, the first overall pick in this year’s draft, is not on the camp list. Hockey Canada president Tom Renney said Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton was “open minded” to the idea of Lafreniere playing in the world juniors.

“We’ll circle back and have further discussions in about 10 days,” Renney said.

Canada coach Andre Tourigny said Dach is a big addition.

“He’s a great human being. I’m excited to have him on board,” Tourigny said. “I think he can bring leadership. He had a chance to have a season with a guy like Jonathan Toews.”

Picked third overall by Chicago last year, Dach had eight goals and 15 assists in 64 games for the Blackhawks.

Forward Quinton Byfield and five other returning players from Canada’s 2020 gold-medal team are on the roster.

Byfield, who was selected second overall by the Los Angeles Kings at the 2020 NHL draft, joins forwards Dylan Cozens, Connor McMichael and Dawson Mercer and defencemen Bowen Byram and Jamie Drysdale as players going for back-to-back gold medals.

Canada beat Russia 4-3 on Jan. 5 in Ostrava, Czech Republic to win its 18th world junior title.

Five goaltenders, 15 defencemen and 27 forwards, will compete in Red Deer, Alta., at the Nov. 16-Dec. 13 camp for a chance to represent Canada at the 2021 world junior championship Dec. 25-Jan. 5.

The selection camp will include practices and three intrasquad games, as well as six games against a team of U Sports all-stars.

The camp will take place in a cohort bubble and will be closed to the public and media due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, Hockey Canada has taken important steps to maintain the health and safety of our National Junior Team athletes and staff, as well as the community at large, during selection camp and throughout the World Juniors,” Renney said in a release.

“As much as we would enjoy allowing fans into the building to support Team Canada throughout the camp, we need to be responsible as we look to keep all parties safe before teams enter the bubble in Edmonton.”

Selection camp roster:

Goaltenders – Brett Brochu, Tilbury, Ont.. London (OHL); Dylan Garand Victoria, Kamloops (WHL); Taylor Gauthier, Calgary, Prince George (WHL); Tristan Lennox, Cambridge, Ont., Saginaw (OHL); Devon Levi, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que., Northeastern University (NCAA).

Defence – Justin Barron, Halifax, Halifax (QMJHL); Bowen Byram, Cranbrook, B.C., Vancouver (WHL); Lukas Cormier, Saint-Marie-de-Kent, N.B., Charlottetown (QMJHL); Jamie Drysdale, Toronto, Erie (OHL); Kaiden Guhle, Sherwood Park, Alta., Prince Albert (WHL); Thomas Harley, Jamesville, N.Y., Mississauga (OHL); Daemon Hunt, Brandon, Man., Moose Jaw (WHL); Kaedan Korczak, Yorkton, Sask., Kelowna (WHL); Mason Millman, London, Ont., Saginaw (OHL); Ryan O’Rourke, Bowmanville, Ont., Sault Ste. Marie (OHL); Owen Power, Mississauga, Ont., University of Michigan (NCAA); Matthew Robertson, Sherwood Park, Alta., Edmonton (WHL); Braden Schneider, Prince Albert, Sask., Brandon (WHL); Donovan Sebrango, Kingston, Ont., Kitchener (OHL); Jordan Spence, Cornwall, P.E.I., Moncton (QMJHL).

Forwards – Adam Beckman, Saskatoon, Spokane (WHL); Mavrik Bourque, Plessisville, Que., Shawinigan (QMJHL); Quinton Byfield, Newmarket, Ont., Sudbury (OHL); Graeme Clarke, Ottawa, Ottawa (OHL); Dylan Cozens, Whitehorse, Lethbridge (WHL); Kirby Dach, St. Albert, Alta., Chicago (NHL); Tyson Foerster, Alliston, Ont., Barrie (OHL); Gage Goncalves, Mission, B.C., Everett (WHL); Ridly Greig, Lethbridge, Alta., Brandon (WHL); Dylan Holloway, Bragg Creek, Alta., University of Wisconsin (NCAA); Seth Jarvis, Winnipeg, Portland (WHL); Peyton Krebs, Okotoks, Alta., Winnipeg (WHL); Hendrix Lapierre, Gatineau, Que., Chicoutimi (QMJHL); Connor McMichael, Ajax, Ont., London (OHL); Dawson Mercer, Bay Roberts, N.L., Chicoutimi (QMJHL); Alex Newhook, St. John’s, N.L., Boston College (NCAA); Jakob Pelletier, Quebec City, Val-d’Or (QMJHL); Cole Perfetti, Whitby, Ont., Saginaw; Samuel Poulin, Blainville, Que., Sherbrooke (QMJHL); Jack Quinn, Cobden, Ont., Ottawa (OHL); Jamieson Rees, Hamilton, Sarnia (OHL); Cole Schwindt, Kitchener, Ont., Mississauga (OHL); Xavier Simoneau, Saint-André-Avellin, Que., Drummondville (QMJHL); Ryan Suzuki, London, Ont., Saginaw (OHL); Philip Tomasino, Mississauga, Ont., Oshawa (OHL); Shane Wright, Burlington, Ont., Kingston (OHL); Connor Zary, Saskatoon, Kamloops (WHL).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly had Canada’s roster at 46 players and 26 forwards.

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