World Junior A selection camp at Benson Centre

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By Shawna O'Neill
World Junior A selection camp at Benson Centre
Team Canada East hopefuls on Wednesday, Aug. 7 (Shawna O'Neill/Seaway News photo).

CORNWALL, Ontairo – About 44 top Team Canada East prospects will showcase their athletic talents at the Benson Centre until Friday, Aug. 9, in hopes of making the 2019 World Junior A Challenge roster, hosted in December in Dawson Creek, B.C.

According to Brent Ladds, President of the Canadian Junior Hockey League, approximately 30 NHL and college team scouts will also be in attendance, evaluating players’ performances from Aug. 7 to Aug. 9 here in Cornwall. Players range in age from 16-years-old to 20-years-old.

“We have 10 leagues in the CJHL, the five Eastern teams place players on this team, the five Western teams play players on the Canada West team. They will be joined by Russia, the Czech Republic and the U.S.A. teams (in the Challenge),” said Ladds.

The 44 athletes in attendance of the selection camp were selected from the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL), Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL), Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), Ligue de hockey junior AAA du Québec (LHJAAAQ) and Maritime Hockey League (MHL). Only 22 players will be selected to take part in the 2019 Challenge. This is the first year a summer selection camp has been hosted, to better assist staff in evaluating prospects throughout the season.

Team Canada East has won silver four times at the annual Challenge, which started in 2006 according to Ladds. A Canadian team has played in 10 out of 13 gold medal games since the event’s fruition.

“We have an incredible number of players that participate in the event, both domestically, as well as players internationally that have gone on to play in the NHL,” said Ladds.

“There’s a bunch of hockey to be played (in Cornwall) and of course the jurys still out; obviously there’s some players that we don’t have here who have commitments elsewhere for now, and later on other guys will still have the opportunity to play,” said Mark Grady, Director of Operations for Team Canada East.

“Everything has been great (here); the Benson Centre has been great and the City of Cornwall, as well as the Nav Centre where we are staying,” he added.

Members of the public have the opportunity to watch the world-class athletes play at the Benson Centre at the following times:

Wednesday, August 7 at 3 p.m.
Thursday, August 8 at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Friday, August 9 at 9 a.m.

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[…] An announcement was made before the game that the 2020 World Junior A Challenge will be hosted in Cornwall next year, drawing top hockey players from across the globe. A 2019 World Junior A Qualifier was held in Cornwall last month, with NHL scouts and coaches monitoring top OHL athlete’s performances before competing in the Challenge in Dawson Creek, B.C. at the end of the year. To read more about the Qualifier that took place at the Benson Centre, click here. […]