Nugent-Hopkins among final world junior cuts
Highly rated draft prospect Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will have to wait another year to get a chance to play for Canada at the world junior championship.
The Red Deer Rebels centre was among the last nine players cut at the Canadian team selection camp early Wednesday.
"Definitely, it doesn't feel good," the Burnaby, B.C., native said. "But getting the opportunity as a 17-year-old was really good for me.
"I really enjoyed the camp and I look forward to coming back next year. I don't think I'd do anything differently.
"If I looked back and thought I had changed things, I'd have regrets. I think I played overall pretty good."
Nugent-Hopkins was among four players in camp who are eligible for the 2011 NHL draft, but only one made the team — projected first overall pick Sean Couturier of the Drummondville Voltigeurs.
Also getting the chop were 17-year-old defencemen Ryan Murphy of the Kitchener Rangers and Ryan Murray of the Everett Silvertips.
"Getting cut really isn't at the top of the list of things I want, but it happens to everyone, so I can't wait for next year because I know I'll be back," said Murphy, a quick skater who is also expected to go high in the 2011 draft.
"It's kind of routine for me. I got cut from the under-18 team in the summer as well, so I'm kind of used to it now."
Also cut were goaltenders Calvin Pickard of the Seattle Thunderbirds and J.P. Anderson of Mississauga St. Michael's, defenceman Mark Pysyk of the Edmonton Oil Kings, and forwards Brandon Pirri of Rockford of the American Hockey League, Riley Sheahan of the University of Notre Dame and Michael Bournival of the Shawinigan Cataractes.
The cuts brought the roster down to the 22 players who will represent Canada at the world junior tournament that begins Dec. 26 in Buffalo, N.Y.
The biggest surprise was Sheahan, who put up a fierce battle to become the team's checking centre and had a goal and two assists in an exhibition game Tuesday night against a university team.
"I gave it my best effort," said Sheahan, who is from St. Catharines, Ont., not far from Buffalo. "I don't really regret anything.
"It's unfortunate, but it's something I'll have to bounce back from when I go back to Notre Dame. Maybe the role I played wasn't needed or something like that. I'm sure the coaches had a mindset of what they needed. I just wish them all the best."
'Tough to live with'
It was a close call among the four goaltenders in camp, as none of them stood out.
"I don't think I played my best, which is tough to live with," said Pickard, a Winnipeg native.
"The coach said it was really close, tight, and they had a hard time coming down to their decision," added Anderson.
The goaltenders who made the team were Olivier Roy and Mark Visentin.
The defence will have Ryan Ellis, Calvin de Haan, Jared Cowen, Erik Gudbranson, Tyson Barrie, Simon Despres and Dylan Olsen.
Forwards on the team are Carter Ashton, Brett Connolly, Marcus Foligno, Curtis Hamilton, Jaden Schwartz, Brayden Schenn, Casey Cizikas, Couturier, Cody Eakins, Quinton Howden, Ryan Johansen, Zack Kassian and Louis Leblanc.