Red Deer’s Nate Danielson’s dream of representing Canada at the World Juniors is one step closer to becoming a reality.
On Tuesday the 19-year-old was named as one of 30 players invited to Canada’s National Junior Selection Camp from Dec. 10-13 in Oakville, Ont.
Along with Danielson, Seattle Thunderbirds goaltender Scott Ratzlaff and Moose Jaw Warriors forward Jagger Firkus from Irma, Alta. were also invited.
So far this season, Danielson has posted 20 points in 21 games with the Wheat Kings despite missing the first eight games of the season while at the Detroit Red Wings training camp. He’s on pace to reach 58 points in 61 games a year after he reached a career-high 78 points in 68 games.
Overall, nine players who were invited are from the Western Hockey League including defenceman Denton Mateychuk (MJ Warriors), defenceman Tanner Molendyk (Saskatoon Blades), forward Conor Geekie (Wenatchee Wild), forward Fraser Minten (Saskatoon Blades), forward Matthew Savoie (Wenatchee Wild), and forward Brayden Yager (MJ Warriors).
The 30 players, which includes four goalies, 10 defenceman, and 16 forwards will compete for a chance to represent Canada at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
“We are excited to name the 30 players who will embark on the journey through camp and eventually on to the World Juniors,” said senior vice-president of hockey operations Peter Anholt in a media release.
“Canada has an incredible talent pool of players, and there are always difficult decisions to narrow it down. We are expecting a highly competitive camp, and we look forward to naming our final roster that will wear the Maple Leaf with pride starting on Boxing Day.”
During the selection camp at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex, Team Canada will practice and play a pair of games against the USports all-stars on Dec. 12 at 3 p.m. Eastern and Dec. 13 at noon Eastern time.
Once the team roster is finalized they’ll head to Malmo, Sweden on Dec. 14 for a pre-tournament camp. Team Canada will open the pre-tournament slate of games against a U25 team from Denmark on Dec. 19.
They’ll also face Switzerland on Dec. 22 before taking on the United States on Dec. 23.
When the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship begins on Boxing Day, Canada will face Finland at 8:30 a.m. ET which will be broadcast on TSN.