Friday, August 5, 2011
Updates from Team Canada WJC Camp
This week, more than 40 of Canada's top young prospects have been participating in Hockey Canada's summer development camp for the 2011-12 World Junior Hockey Championships. The WJC is seen as some of the best hockey played each year as the top players under 20 years of age worldwide compete over Christmas and into the New Year for global supremacy. The Russians shocked the Canadians in the finals last year with an epic third period comeback to steal the gold medal away from Canada, leaving them with a second straight disappointing silver after 5 consecutive golds between 2005 and 2009.
The summer camp is just a preliminary event, with a second camp taking place prior to the tournament in Decemeber where the final team will be selected. Three Montreal Canadiens prospects are in attendance at the camp, being defenseman Nathan Beaulieu and forwards Brendan Gallagher and Michael Bournival. All three are part of the "Red Team" for intersquad games, the side which dominated the first contests yesterday, with Gallagher and Beaulieu each picking up a goal. It seems like Beaulieu's was a beauty, as described by Florida Panthers prospect Jonathan Huberdeau (a good friend and teammate of Beaulieu's):
Without wanting to dip too much into relationship gossip, it seems Beaulieu might be having just a little too much fun at the camp, as his girlfriend has put out some unhappy Tweets over the last couple of days, which included:
We'll skip the speculation, but by being with a prospect of a professional sports team with such a huge following, Ms. Wright has entered the public eye, so these and any other Tweets are subject to being picked up and analyzed. Let's just wish both her and Nathan the best, whether together or broken up. They're just kids after all, let them have fun.
Anddddd back to hockey. Some updates from last night's intersquad game came via either Hockey Canada or Mike Morreale on Twitter. Give Mike a follow at @mike_morreale. Thanks to him, we know that Beaulieu has been paired with Mark Prysyk, a first round selection of the Buffalo Sabres in 2010, throughout camp, while Gallagher and Bournival have been linemates, playing along with Freddie Hamilton (brother of 2011 first rounder defenseman Dougie Hamilton, also at camp).
Following yesterday's games, Team Canada coach Don Hay shared a few thoughts with reporters, and seemed impressed with Gallagher's play, singling him out specifically.
The camp's final intersquad games on Saturday and Sunday nights can be watched live online for a fee of $7 at the following link: http://www.hockeycanada.ca/index.php/ci_id/172027/la_id/1.htm
UPDATE: In other WJC news, Canadiens prospect John Westin - taken in the 7th round in 2010 - was left off the roster for Team Sweden's summer camp. Westin is an average-sized two-way forward in the mold of Fredrik Sjostrom. He battled injury last season and hopes to rebound with a better year in Sweden in 2011-12.