Five WHL players will be headed to the Czech Republic and Slovakia as they were named to Canada's Under 18 team.
Four of those five players are defenceman. Making the team are Griffin Reinhart (Edmonton), Matt Dumba (Red Deer), Derrick Pouliot (Portland), Morgan Rielly (Moose Jaw) and forward Hunter Shinkaruk (Medicine Hat).
Now people know why 2012 is going to be a great draft year for defenceman, especially defenders from the WHL.
Shinkaruk also made a huge impression at the Calgary camp. He was widely recognized as possibly being the top forward out of anyone. He's still listed as being 5'10 but it sounds like he's grown atleast a couple of inches and put on quite a bit of muscle. He's a shifty and dynamic kid and he's actually not draft eligible until 2013. I said this past winter that he could be a top 5 pick come that time, and I stand by that prediction.
As far as the Saskatoon Blades are concerned, they had one player at camp. Forward Ryan Olsen didn't make the cut, unfortunately. Let's hope he uses it as motivation and comes to camp with a chip on his shoulder in a few short weeks. It looks like the Blades will need a big boost in production from him with guys like Brayden Schenn and Marek Viedensky, among others, moving on.
For a look at the entire roster for team Canada, check it out here:
Canada takes on Slovakia in a pre-tournament game in Piestany on Saturday, August 6 before opening the tournament against Sweden on Monday, August 8.