NEW MINAS' BATHERSON INVITED TO CANADA'S WORLD JUNIOR SELECTION CAMP
Dec. 6, 2017
CALGARY, Alta. — A Nova Scotia native will be vying for a spot on Canada’s World Junior roster later this month.
Drake Batherson was one of 32 players invited to Hockey Canada’s World Junior selection camp on Wednesday. Despite missing seven games this season with his Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, the New Minas native is fourth in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s scoring race with 17 goals and 21 assists in just 23 games this season.
Last June, Batherson was selected in the fourth round (121st overall) by the Ottawa Senators in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. He is one of 18 forwards that will compete to represent Canada during the holidays.
(PHOTO CREDIT: Mike Sullivan — Drake Batherson, right, battles for position against Truro's Jared McIsaac.)
The national selection camp roster also includes four goaltenders and 10 defencemen. The process of evaluating and selecting the players was led by Brad McEwen, Hockey Canada’s head scout, in consultation with Joël Bouchard from the Program of Excellence management group.
Among the 32 players are seven returnees from last year’s silver-medal team: goaltender Carter Hart (Sherwood Park, Alta./Everett, WHL); defencemen Jake Bean (Calgary/Calgary, WHL), Kale Clague (Lloydminster, Alta./Brandon, WHL), and Dante Fabbro (Coquitlam, B.C./Boston University, HE); and forwards Dillon Dubé (Cochrane, Alta./Kelowna, WHL), Michael McLeod (Mississauga, Ont./Mississauga, OHL), and Taylor Raddysh (Caledon, Ont./Erie, OHL).
(PHOTO: Shane Bowers, left, and Drake Batherson pose for a photo after being selected by the Senators at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.)
“Hockey at all levels across the country continues to produce talented and elite-level hockey players that makes our evaluation and selection process a difficult one,” said Shawn Bullock, Hockey Canada’s senior manager of hockey operations and men’s national teams. “With a talent pool as deep as we have in this country, we believe the 22 players eventually selected from camp will give us the best chance at bringing home a gold medal. We couldn’t be more excited for our staff and players to get together in St. Catharines and begin the journey.”
Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp will be held at the Meridian Centre, the home of the Ontario Hockey League’s Niagara Ice Dogs, and feature a trio of games - two against a U SPORTS team on Dec. 13 and 14, and a game against Denmark on Dec. 15.
Following the four-day camp, Canada will pare down its roster to the final group of 22 players that will proudly wear the Canadian jersey in Buffalo, Dec. 26-Jan. 5, as they seek to win the nation’s 16th World Juniors gold medal.
Canada’s quest for gold officially begins on Boxing Day against Finland at 4 p.m. ET. Canada will face its U.S. rivals when they take to the outdoors on Dec. 29 at the home of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, New Era Field in Orchard Park, N.Y., at 3 p.m. ET.
TSN and RDS, the official broadcasters of Hockey Canada, will once again provide wall-to-wall game coverage and analysis throughout the tournament, including Canada’s two pre-tournament games; check local listings for details.