CALGARY - Canada's run for gold begins with a wide open competition for spots next week, as Hockey Canada named its selection camp roster on Wednesday in preparation for the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championship.

Hockey Canada named 32 players - 18 forwards, 10 defencemen and four goaltenders - to its selection camp roster in St. Catharines, Ont.

Seven players return from last year’s team, including Flyers goaltending prospect Carter Hart (Everett, WHL), Los Angeles Kings blueline prospect Kale Clague (Prince George, WHL), along with forwards Michael McLeod (Mississauga, OHL) of the New Jersey Devils and Tampa Bay's Taylor Raddysh (Erie, OHL).

That leaves 16 spots up for grabs as Hockey Canada will trim the roster down to 23 players.

"When you start taking out some prominent guys on defence and some potential No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 centres amongst the forwards, it opens things up for the camp," TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie explained this week. "I think there are going to be some very good players that attend this camp, but it might lack a little bit of star power and I think this is a camp that you would look at and say that there's a high degree of sensitivity...that is, a really good performance by somebody could launch them right into the picture, a really poor performance in the camp could knock them out."

Other returnees include Calgary Flames prospect Dillon Dube of the Kelowna Rockets, Carolina blue-chipper Jake Bean (Calgary, WHL) and Nashville blueline prospect Dante Fabbro (Boston University).

Canada lost in heartbreaking fashion in last year's gold-medal final, edged in a shootout by the United States at Montreal's Bell Centre.

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With 52 points in 24 games in the OHL, Craig Button takes a closer look at Sarnia Sting forward Jordan Kyrou, who looks poised to shine for Canada at this year's World Juniors.

"The last few shots, I couldn't even look at the ice," Fabbro told TSN this week. "I was pretty nervous and didn't know which way it was going to go...we had chances to win that game, but we ended up falling short." 

Other notable players joining the eight returnees at selection camp are OHL leading scorer Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia), WHL leading goal scorer Tyler Steenbergen (Swift Current), Regina Pats centre Sam Steel and Memorial Cup-winning goaltender Michael DiPietro of the OHL's Windsor Spitfires.

The camp roster also has 11 first-round picks, including five from last June's NHL Draft - Colorado's Cale Makar, Cody Glass and Nick Suzuki of the Vegas Golden Knights, Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Cal Foote and St. Louis prospect Robert Thomas.

There are a good number of junior-eligible NHL players who are not listed on the roster, including Arizona blueliner Jakob Chychrun, Canadiens defenceman Victor Mete, Columbus Blue Jackets centre Pierre-Luc Dubois, Flyers centre Nolan Patrick, and defenceman Samuel Girard and centre Tyson Jost of the Colorado Avalanche. 

Though most of these players will likely stay in the NHL, teams have until Dec. 19 to decide whether or not to loan them to the tournament.

Selection camp begins Tuesday in St. Catharines, Ont. and runs through Dec. 15. The camp includes games against a team of U Sports All-Stars on Dec. 13 and 14 and an exhibition game against Denmark on Dec. 15 before the final roster is announced.

Canada opens the World Junior Tournament in Buffalo on Boxing Day against Finland.

 

Team Canada Selection Camp Roster

 
GOALTENDERS            
Name Team Catches Age HT WT DRAFT
Michael DiPietro Windsor (OHL) L 18 6'0 193 Van 2017
Carter Hart Everett (WHL) L 19 6'2" 180 Phi 2016
Samuel Harvey Rouyn-Noranda (QMJHL) L 19 6'1" 185 Undrafted
Colton Point Colgate (NCAA) L 19 6'4" 220 Dal 2016
DEFENCE            
Name Team Shoots Age HT WT DRAFT
Jake Bean Calgary (WHL) L 19 6'1" 169 Car 2016
Dennis Cholowski Prince George (WHL) L 19 6'1" 185 Det 2016
Kale Clague Brandon (WHL) L 19 6'0" 177 LA 2016
Dante Fabbro Boston University (NCAA) R 19 6'1" 192 Nsh 2016
Mario Ferraro Massachusetts (NCAA) L 19 5'10" 185 SJ 2017
Cal Foote Kelowna (WHL) R 18 6'4" 210 Tam 2017
Josh Muhara Regina (WHL) L 19 6'1" 185 Ana 2016
Cale Makar Massachusetts (NCAA) R 19 5'10" 175 Col 2017
Logan Stanley Kitchener (OHL) L 19 6'7" 231 Wpg 2016
Conor Timmins Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) R 19 6'1" 182 Col 2017
FORWARDS            
Name Team Shoots Age HT WT DRAFT
Jonathan Ang Peterborough (OHL) R 19 5'11" 160 Fla 2016
Drake Batherson Cape Breton (QMJHL) R 19 6'2" 188 Ott 2017
Maxime Comtois Victoriaville (QMJHL) L 18 6'2" 212 Ana 2017
Dillon Dube Kelowna (WHL) L 19 5'11" 186 Cgy 2016
Alex Formenton London (OHL) L 18 6'2" 175 Ott 2017
Jonah Gadjovich Owen Sound (OHL) L 19 6'2" 201 Van 2017
Cody Glass Portland (WHL) R 18 6'2" 179 VGK 2017
Brett Howden Moose Jaw (WHL) L 19 6'3" 191 Tam 2016
Tanner Kaspick Brandon (WHL) L 19 6'1" 205 StL 2016
Boris Katchouk Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) L 19 6'3" 190 Tam 2016
Jordan Kyrou Sarnia (OHL) R 19 6'0" 177 StL 2016
Kole Lind Kelowna (WHL) R 19 6'1" 173 Van 2017
Michael McLeod Mississauga (OHL) R 19 6'2" 195 NJ 2016
Taylor Raddysh Erie (OHL) R 19 6'2" 209 Tam 2016
Sam Steel Regina (WHL) L 19 6'0" 180 Ana 2016
Tyler Steenbergen Swift Current (WHL) L 19 5'10" 182 Ari 2017
Nick Suzuki Owen Sound (OHL) R 18 5'11" 183 VGK 2017
Robert Thomas London (OHL) R 18 6'0" 188 StL 2017