While there’s generally a dearth of hockey news in the summer, one bit of actual playing news is that many of the World Junior Championship teams are holding their evaluation camps this week. Team USA opened their camp today in Lake Placid, New York but notably absent are two players who recently signed professional deals. Defensemen Cam Fowler (who
While no reason was given as to why they’re not there, one could assume rather easily that their new clubs likely didn’t want them risking injury there when they’ll have NHL training camp coming up in September. After checking out the roster of players the United States has at evaluation camp for the next week, it might be daring homerism to say that perhaps Fowler and Leddy may not be missed terribly as the United States’ depth on defense is rather nice.
Team Canada is dealing with a similar problem of their own as 2010 #1 draft pick Taylor Hall is not attending Canada’s evaluation camp. For Canada, this poses more of a dilemma.
The decision means the former Windsor Spitfires star winger won’t be eligible for the world championships, since Hockey Canada insists players must take part in the camp if they are to make the team.
“Ideally we would have liked him to come to the summer camp to keep that option open, based on our policy. But his preparation for the upcoming season is focused on the NHL,” said Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada senior director of national men’s teams.
Focusing one’s efforts on the pros is never a bad thing and it’s not as if Canada is hurting for talent. And besides, Tyler Seguin will still be there. Given that both the United States and Canada are essentially super powers in the World Junior Championships, losing a player here or there isn’t a backbreaking situation. When/If these teams do go head to head in Buffalo at the tournament, however, these differences could be crucial.