Hockey Canada announces world junior selection camp roster
34 players will be in Victoria next week for tryouts
Canada will have just two players returning to defend its gold medal from the 2018 world junior hockey championship.
Forwards Alex Formenton and Maxime Comtois, both 19, are among the 34 players chosen by Hockey Canada that will attend selection camp ahead of the 2019 world junior championship that begins on Boxing Day.
The majority of Hockey Canada's selections come from the Canadian Hockey League, with 29 of the 34 named to camp currently playing in either the OHL, QMJHL or Western Hockey League.
Defencemen Ian Mitchell (Denver), Jacob Bernard-Docker (North Dakota) and Cameron Crotty (Boston University) and forward Shane Bowers (Boston University) are the lone Canadians playing outside the CHL to make the cut.
The Canadian squad will also have forward Gabe Vilardi joining them at camp. His status was unknown after starting the year on the injured list with the L.A. Kings, but he has recovered and is currently on a conditioning assignment in the American Hockey League.
The battle in net will be between Michael DiPietro, Ian Scott and Matthew Villalta.
Forward Alexis Lafreniere is the youngest player invited at only 17. He isn't eligible for the NHL draft until 2020.
Forwards Robert Thomas and Michael Rasmussen were hopefuls for the squad but haven't been released by their NHL clubs. They still could, though it appears highly unlikely.
Selection camp, which was announced in Calgary, will take place from Dec. 10 to Dec. 14 in Victoria and will be followed by three exhibition games against a group of U Sports all-stars.
The Canadian team hits the ice on Dec. 26 for its world junior opener against Denmark in a Group A matchup at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. All Group B games will take place at Victoria's Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
Selection Camp Roster
Goaltenders: Michael DiPietro, Ian Scott, Matthew Villalta
Defencemen: Calen Addison, Nicolas Beaudin, Jacob Bernard-Docker, Evan Bouchard, Josh Brook, Cameron Crotty, Noah Dobson, Pierre-Olivier Jospeh, Jared McIsaac, Ian Mitchell, Markus Phillips, Ty Smith
Forwards: Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Shane Bowers, Maxime Comtois, Ty Dellandrea, Mackenzie Entwistle, Alex Formenton, Liam Foudy, Morgan Frost, Cody Glass, Barrett Hayton, Alexis Lafreniere, Raphael Lavoie, Brett Leason, Isaac Ratcliffe, Jack Studnicka, Nick Suzuki, Owen Tippett, Joe Veleno, Gabe Vilardi.