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Jun. 11, 2014

Ten hockey players from Nova Scotia are bound for Calgary in the coming weeks to take part in Hockey Canada development camps.

On Monday, Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced the names of 34 goaltenders that will attend the ninth annual Program of Excellence goaltending camp, taking place June 11-14 at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

Ten goaltenders in the under-20 age category (candidates for Canada’s National Junior Team), eight in the under-18 category (candidates for Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team) and 16 under-17 goaltenders (candidates for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge) will get the opportunity to work with a number of instructors during the four-day camp. 

Halifax’s Mason McDonald, a goaltender with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Charlottetown Islanders, was among the invitees to the under-20 camp.

In the under-17 group, Evan Fitzpatrick (Newbridge Academy Gladiators/Lower Sackville), Mark Grametbauer (Cole Harbour WolfPack/Halifax) and Reilly Pickard (Halifax McDonald's/Halifax) all received invites to the camp.

The three goalies will join six Nova Scotia skaters vying for spots on one of Canada’s three new under-17 teams. They were among the 96 skaters that Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), invited to attend Canada’s national under-17 development camp which runs from July 29 to Aug. 4 at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary.

The roster includes 36 defencemen and 60 forwards.

Two recent first round picks in the 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft will battle for a spot on the blue line. Luke Green (Newbridge Academy Gladiators/Bedford), the first overall selection of the Saint John Sea Dogs, and Matt Sartoris (Weeks Major Midgets/New Glasgow), the twelfth overall pick by the Gatineau Olympiques, will be in the mix on the back end.

Up front, Mitch Balmas (Cape Breton Tradesmen/Sydney), Brett Crossley (Shattuck-St. Mary’s – US Prep/Cole Harbour), Barrett Dachyshyn (Halifax McDonald’s/Halifax), and Michael O’Leary (Salisbury School – US Prep/Halifax) will compete for the opportunity to wear the Maple Leaf.

The players invited to camp were selected by Ryan Jankowski, Hockey Canada's head scout of men's national teams, together with regional scouts Donald Audette (Quebec), Brad McEwen (West), Kevin Mitchell (Atlantic) and Darryl Woodley (Ontario) with input from Hockey Canada regional branch representatives. Players were evaluated throughout the season with their club teams, and at three regional under-16 events: the Western Canada U16 Challenge, OHL Gold Cup and QMJHL Excellence Challenge.


The development camp will serve as part of Canada’s new under-17 structure, focusing on player development. Scouts will continue to watch these players, along with other 1998-born players across the country, and 66 will be selected to represent Canada at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, which is scheduled for Oct. 31 to Nov. 8 in a yet-to-be-determined location.
The tournament will be the first to feature three Canadian national teams (Black, Red and White). From 1986 to 2014, Canada was represented by five regional teams: Atlantic, Ontario, Pacific, Quebec and West.

“At Hockey Canada, we are very excited about the possibilities that lie ahead within our national teams with the changes we have instituted at the under-17 level,” said Scott Salmond, senior director, hockey operations with Hockey Canada. “It is our intention to identify potential national team players at an earlier age and have them play together more often.”

All 96 skaters have been drafted or listed by CHL teams, including 35 from the Ontario Hockey League, 32 from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and 29 from the Western Hockey League.

Canada’s national under-17 development camp roster, by branch:

B.C. Hockey – 8

Hockey Alberta – 13

Saskatchewan Hockey Association – 2

Hockey Manitoba – 5

Ontario Hockey Federation – 32

Hockey Eastern Ontario – 4

Hockey Quebec – 24

Hockey Newfoundland & Labrador – 2

Hockey Nova Scotia – 6

The 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will bring together the top players in the world born in 1998 or later. The under-17 program is the first step in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence. Many players who compete at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge go on to represent Canada with the National Men’s Under-18 Team, National Junior Team and National Men’s Team.

Since the first under-17 tournament (then known as the Quebec Esso Cup) in 1986, more than 1,300 NHL draft picks have played in the tournament, including 10 of the last 13 first-overall selections (Ilya Kovalchuk, 2001; Rick Nash, 2002; Marc-André Fleury, 2003; Alexander Ovechkin, 2004; Erik Johnson, 2006; Patrick Kane, 2007; John Tavares, 2009; Taylor Hall, 2010; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 2011; Nathan MacKinnon, 2013).

For more information on the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, please visit, or follow along via social media at or

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