Canada's junior hockey team made its first set on cuts on Tuesday morning, sending home blueliner Brandon Gormley of the Moncton Wildcats, Rouyn-Noranda defenceman Nicolas Deslauriers, Sudbury Wolves forward John McFarland and Plymouth Whalers centre Tyler Seguin.
Gormley, McFarland and Seguin - each touted as first-round selections at next June's NHL Entry Draft - were attending their first-ever World Junior camp.
''The first time around is the toughest,'' TSN hockey analyst Bob McKenzie said. ''These guys are terrific hockey players and they'll no doubt be back.''
Seguin, who is third in OHL scoring with 26 goals and 51 points in 29 games with Plymouth this season, is currently NHL Central Scouting's top-ranked North American skater for the 2010 draft.
''I'm definitely disappointed - it's a big opportunity going to waste,'' Seguin said. ''But just the same, I'm 17 and there will be more chances to come.''
Seguin admitted that his focus was more on strong two-way play rather than his usual attack-oriented style.
''I don't think I played to my potential here,'' he said. ''I tried to focus on little things too much instead of just relaxing and playing my game and I think that's the reason I got cut.
The six-foot-one 180-pound centre added that ''great players have come out of here not making the cut and then getting second chances and that's what I'll hope for.''
Gormley, the six-foot-two 185-pound defenceman from Murray River, P.E.I., knew it would be tough to crack the lineup.
''It's a tough situation in Canada,'' he said. ''There are a lot of great defencemen and to be 17 coming in, it's tough to make. I just have to come back next year and hope for the best.''
Sudbury Wolves standout, McFarland of Richmond Hill, Ontario, understands the decision and took things in stride.
''It's not quit my year yet, and my time will come,'' he said.
Deslauriers echoed McFarland's sentiments, saying ''I think we'll have a good team. We'll have that gold medal, but I'll be watching that at home.''
TSN hockey analyst Pierre McGuire reminded the young men of some big names that have been cut from Team Canada in the past, and historically have come back to make a name for themselves.
''Mike Comrie, Dan Cleary, Eric Staal, and more recently Angelo Esposito,'' explained McGuire. ''The bottom line is, next year these guys will potentially be the go-to guys with one caveat; if they're in the NHL. That's how good Team Canada is, that's how good the program is.''
With Tuesday's releases, the camp roster now stands at 31 players, including four goaltenders, ten defencemen and 17 forwards. There are 22 roster spots for the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship, which begins Dec. 26.
The rest of the players at camp will play out a final audition in a game against Saskatchewan's CIS all-stars Tuesday night, with the last round of cuts expected early on Wednesday.