Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen has been named to Canada’s 2014 world junior championship selection camp roster, joining 28 others vying for a spot on a team that hasn’t won gold since 2009.
Virtanen, who was selected by the Vancouver Canucks sixth overall in June’s NHL Entry Draft, would make his first World Juniors appearance if chosen. The Calgary Hitmen forward has seven goals and 19 points through 17 games in the WHL this season.
Other B.C. born invitees include Vancouver’s Sam Reinhart (Kootenay Ice, Buffalo Sabres), Delta’s Nic Petan (Portland Winterhawks, Winnipeg Jets), Aldergrove’s Shea Theodore (Seattle Thunderbirds, Anaheim Ducks), Kamloops’s Joe Hicketts (Victoria Royals, Detroit Red Wings),
Kelowna Rockets players Rourke Chartier and Madison Bowey also made the selection camp.
Connor McDavid, widely believed to be the No. 1 pick in next year’s NHL Draft, headlines Canada’s camp roster, even though he’s currently out of action with a broken hand.
Before his injury, McDavid put up an other-worldly 51 points in 18 games with the OHL’s Erie Otters.
Last year’s Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon is still age-eligible for the tournament, but is a full-time NHLer with the Colorado Avalanche and therefore was not named to the camp. Neither was Calgary first-rounder Sam Bennett, who is currently on long-term injury rehab.
Current NHL rookies Jonathan Drouin, Bo Horvat, Curtis Lazar, and Anthony Duclair were also not named to the camp, but they can be added at a later date if the Lightning, Canucks, Senators, or Rangers (respectively) grant them time.
The deadline for the NHL’s pre-Christmas roster freeze is December 19. The World Junior tournament starts on December 26 and the camp begins on December 11 in Toronto.