The Canadian national team received a blow Friday when the Edmonton Oilers announced that rookie Sam Gagner would not be made available for the upcoming world junior hockey tournament.
Gagner, a first-round selection by Edmonton in 2007, has been playing regularly for the Oilers, and ranks seventh in rookie scoring with 11 points (2-9) in 28 games.
"Sam has adjusted nicely to his first season in the National Hockey League and has been playing a prominent role with our hockey club," Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe said in a statement.
"We feel this is the right decision for our team, our fans and for Sam's personal development."
Gagner, a native of London, Ont., was the youngest member of last year's world junior team that captured gold in Sweden.