Hockey Canada delivered 39 invitations for its Canadian junior team selection camp on Monday, but it hopes to add a few more players from the NHL.
There are eight junior-aged Canadians playing in the NHL this season: Kyle Clifford (Los Angeles), Matt Duchene (Colorado), Taylor Hall (Edmonton), Evander Kane (Atlanta), Ryan O’Reilly (Colorado), Brayden Schenn (Los Angeles) Tyler Seguin (Boston) and Jeff Skinner (Carolina).
Of those eight, head coach Dave Cameron and the Canadian junior team have a shot at landing three of them: Schenn, Clifford and Seguin. Schenn recently rejoined the Kings after a conditioning stint in the AHL. Clifford has played in 18 of the team’s 22 games, but has averaged only seven minutes and 43 seconds of ice time.
Who made it?
Click here for the complete Team Canada selection camp roster.
Whether Seguin is made available likely depends on the timing of Marc Savard’s return to the Bruins' lineup after his concussion woes and if Boston stays healthy up front.
Hockey Canada has left the door open for these NHL teams until Dec. 11. The four-day selection camp, in which the roster will be trimmed to 23 players, begins in Toronto on Dec. 12.
"They're all question marks for us," Hockey Canada head scout Kevin Prendergast said.
"We're proceeding as none of them are coming back. It would be surprising if we see any of them, to be honest with you. They have to release those players and if they make the team they will be away for a month. But if they should be released to us, we’d gladly take them."
Of the Hockey Canada invites distributed on Monday, 23 went to forwards, a dozen to defencemen and four to goalies.
The three youngest players on the list include one of Don Cherry’s favourites, 17-year-old Kitchener Rangers defenceman Ryan Murphy as well as Drummondville forward Sean Couturier, touted as a possible first overall pick at the 2011 NHL entry draft, and Everett defenceman Ryan Murray.
Murray, who turned 17 two months ago, isn't eligible until the 2012 NHL draft.
The strength of this Canadian team will be on the blue-line. There are only three returnees from last year’s team that lost in the gold-medal final to the United States and they are each defencemen in Ryan Ellis (Windsor), Jared Cowen (Spokane) and Calvin de Haan (Oshawa).
Kingston defenceman Erik Gudbranson and Moncton blue-liner Brandon Gormley also were invited.
Gudbranson was the third overall selection by the Florida Panthers last June. Gormley was taken by the Phoenix Coyotes 13th overall. Gormley, however, suffered a displaced right kneecap in a game on Saturday and his availability to Canada is unlikely at this point.
"He did injure his kneecap," Prendergast said. "We're not sure of the severity of it at this point. The Phoenix Coyotes are going to fly him out there and as soon as we get a report from them we'll make a decision then."