TRURO, N.S. – Truro’s Jared McIsaac is among 34 players invited by Hockey Canada to attend a selection camp for the 2019 world junior championship that begins on Boxing Day.
McIsaac, a defenceman with the Halifax Mooseheads, will vie for a spot on Canada’s 23-man roster.
The world junior championship is being held in Vancouver from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 where Canada will attempt to win back-to-back goal medals.
McIsaac was selected second overall by the Mooseheads in the 2016 QMJHL draft and has scored 100 points in 144 career games. He was a second-round pick (36th overall) by the Detroit Red Wings in last June’s NHL draft.
Also invited to the selection camp is McIsaac’s Halifax teammate, forward Raphael Lavoie, along with Halifax native Shane Bowers, a forward with Boston University in the NCAA.
Forwards Alex Formenton and Maxime Comtois, both 19, are the only players returning from last year’s gold-medal team.
“Any time you can have returning players it benefits not only them but the group they’re with, sharing their past experiences and guiding them along,” said Canada head coach Tim Hunter. “Right now we just have two and we’re not focusing on anyone else. We’re excited about Alex and Max leading the group and setting the tone at our camp.”
The majority of Hockey Canada’s selections come from the Canadian Hockey League, with 29 of the 34 named to camp playing in either the Ontario, Quebec or Western leagues.
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.
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.
– With files from The Canadian Press