With all of 57 games worth of NHL experience, Braden Holtby was invited to join Team Canada’s orientation camp later this month. At the age of 23, he’s also the youngest of the five netminders that were selected.
“It’s a little weird, me being the young guy,” said Holtby, according to CSN Washington. “I probably have the least amount of Hockey Canada experience out of anyone. It’ll be an eye-opener.”
Holtby represented Canada in the under-18 world championships in 2006-07 and participated in a single game during that tournament. That covers his international experience.
Canada will have three goaltenders on their active roster and the other invites include 2013 Stanley Cup winner Corey Crawford, 2010 gold medalist Roberto Luongo, as well as Carey Price and Mike Smith. In addition to that, someone not invited to the camp might end up making the squad.
Even still, Holtby’s chances of making the team shouldn’t be completely dismissed. He had a great run in the 2012 playoffs and while he struggled initially in 2013, he turned things around pretty quickly and played a big part in the Capitals rocketing into the 2013 postseason as the Southeast Division winners.
More to the point, Team Canada doesn’t have obvious choices between the pipes, so a big determining factor could be how each goaltender performs in the early portion of the 2013-14 campaign.