Montreal, QC, Canada (4E Sports) – Hockey Canada has started a summer development camp in preparation for the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, which begins Dec. 26 in Montreal and Toronto.
Around 41 players will join the camp in the hope of making the team that will represent the county in the WJC.
Canada has not won a medal at the WJC since winning bronze in 2012, which is the last time it hosted the tournament.
The development camp roster includes 10 players from the team that lost to Russia in the bronze-medal game at the 2014 WJC.
“It’s been more than five years since Canada has won the gold medal,” said Canada coach Benoit Groulx. “So we all know when we enter the tournament what the goal is. We all have that in the back of our minds.”
“A lot of people are talking about pressure, and I think pressure is good,” Groulx said. “It means we have a chance to win, it means we have a good team. There are teams who come to this tournament who say they have no pressure, but that means they don’t think they will win.”
Groulx and his assistants, Dave Lowry of the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Royals and Scott Walker of the Guelph Storm in the Ontario Hockey League, are making sure they collect as much information as possible at development camp.
Canada will play four scrimmages in four days from Tuesday to Friday against the national junior teams of Russia and the Czech Republic, who are holding camps in Montreal and Sherbrooke, Quebec.
Groulx said the high number of games will allow him and his staff to put each of their players in different situations to see if they can demonstrate the versatility that will be a very admirable trait for any national team candidate.
“For us it’s to really get to know all the players in depth, not just as hockey players but also as individuals. I think it’s something that is essential today in a camp as short as this one, to get to know the values of each player, their level of commitment on and off the ice, their style of play, their ability to raise their game, to adapt to situations,” Groulx said.