The best part of the holiday season in late December and January is the World Juniors. However, before all the fun, there is the task of assessing talent and determining who might be on that final roster. Fortunately for residents of Calgary, the entire summer showcase will take place at the Markin MacPhail Centre in WinSport's Canada Olympic Park. The entire camp will run from July 29th to August 6th.
Included in the 40 players selected for the U20 camp are former second-round (34th overall in 2014) goaltender Mason McDonald of the Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL) and third-round defenseman Brandon Hickey (64th overall in 2014) of Boston University. McDonald is coming off his second season with the Islanders, posting a 28-22-4 record with a .906 SV% in 56 games: very respectable numbers for the QMJHL.
Hickey's first season with Boston University saw him posting 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 41 games. Boston University ultimately fell to the Providence Friars in the final game of the tournament. (Featured on the Friars' roster were Calgary prospects Mark Jankowski, Jon Gillies, and John Gilmour.)
Beyond the Flames draftees attending, a number of potential Calgary first-round draft selections were invited, including Jeremy Roy, Travis Konecny, and Nick Merkley.
|Jeremy Roy||SBNation Mock Draft|
|Nick Merkley||Draft Profile|
|Travis Konecny||Draft Profile|
There is definite optimism to see Flames prospects succeed and make the Canadian World Junior team this winter. You may remember that former first-round pick Sam Bennett wasn't able to play for Canada last year due to his September shoulder surgery. The U20 team will take on the Czech Republic (August 4th and 6th) and Russia (August 3rd and 5th) as part of the camp.