Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Seguin, Hackett are Canada hopefuls

Hockey Canada and USA Hockey announced today that a trio of Plymouth Whalers have been named to the preliminary rosters for the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships in Saskatchewan. The players will compete for a spot to represent their country at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, being held from December 26, 2009-January 5, 2010, in Saskatoon and Regina, Saskatchewan.

Whalers Tyler Seguin (pictured) and Matt Hackett are two of Canada’s top 36 junior-aged hockey players (born in 1990 or later) that have been invited to take part in Canada’s National Junior selection camp from December 12-16, 2009 in Regina.

Whalers forward AJ Jenks is one of the 29 players named to the preliminary roster for the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team that will participate in a three-day pre-tournament training camp December 17-19 in Grand Forks, N.D.

Of the 36 Canadian players invited, seven are returning players – having won gold medals at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa, and 31 of the players named to the selection camp roster were drafted in either the 2008 or 2009 NHL Entry Draft, including fourteen first-round selections and six second-round picks.

Players and staff will travel to Regina on Saturday, December 12. There will be two red-white intrasquad games and one game against a team comprised of CIS players from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina. Once the team is named at the conclusion of the selection camp in Regina, Canada’s National Junior Team will play in three exhibition games prior to the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Seguin and Hackett both represented Canada and the OHL in the Canada/Russia Subway Super Series Game in Windsor on November 23. Seguin also represented his country by winning a gold medal with Team Ontario at the World Under-17 Challenge in Port Alberni, British Columbia, where he finished seond in tournament scoring with 11 points on three goals and a tournament-best eight assists in six games, as well as winning a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2009 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament in the Czech Republic, leading the tournament with four goals and six assists in 4 games. Hackett has never played for Team Canada, but did attend Team Canada's 2009 National Junior Team Development Camp in Saskatoon this past summer.

Canada has medaled at eleven straight IIHF World Junior Championships including gold medal performances in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, silver medals in 1999, 2002, 2003 and 2004 and bronze medals in 2000 and 2001.

For Team USA, the training camp will be highlighted with an exhibition game against the University of North Dakota men's ice hockey team on December 19. Following the camp, a reduced roster will be play the Czech Republic on December 22 in Regina, in Team USA's final exhibition game.

Jenks has played for Team USA before at the 2007 Under-18 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, recording a 1-1-2 line with 16 penalty minutes. He has also attended Team USA's 2008 National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, New York, as well as the 2009 National Junior Evaluation Camp.

Hockey Canada's Release ... Team USA's Release

Also of note, Whalers defenseman Michal Jordan has a good chance to represent his country, the Czech Republic, but they have not announced their roster. Jordan has played for the Czech Republic at the last two World Junior Championships as well as winning a gold medal with the Czech Republic at the 2008 World Under 18 Championships - Division 1A in Poland, where he was named the best defenseman of the tournament after tallying five assists in five games.

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