Team Canada's annual summer development camp is underway in Montreal, as 39 of the country's brightest junior players attempt to make the cut for the Christmas tournament. The camp, which runs until August 8th, features 2013 picks Curtis Lazar, and Ben Harpur, along with newly acquired 2013 pick Nick Paul. Lazar is a part of a group of ten returning players, also featuring Aaron Ekblad, Connor McDavid, and Sam Reinhart.
Here's how the lines shaped up for the split-squad game, as well as the first exhibition game:
Lines at @HockeyCanada WJHC summer camp: Ritchie-Reinhart-Duclair; Dickinson-Lazar-Point; Perlini-Bennett-Hawryluk; Bertuzzi-Gauthier-Chase— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) August 4, 2014
Lines for 2nd @HockeyCanada WJHC group: Domi-Petan-Baptiste; Dal Colle-Horvat-Nastasiuk; Klimchuk-McDavid-Gregoire; Paul-Fabbri— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) August 4, 2014
D-pairings: Bigras-Bowey; Theodore-Heatherington; Sanheim-Harpur … goalies: Desrosiers, Comrie— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) August 4, 2014
#TeamCanada Junior line combos for tonight: Ritchie-Reinhart-Duclair Dickinson-Lazar-Point Perlini-Bennett-Hawryluk Paul-Gauthier-Chase— Team Canada Men (@HC_Men) August 5, 2014
#TeamCanada Junior Defence pairs for tonight: Morrissey-Ekblad Nurse-McKeown Morin-Fleury Fucale and Jarry will share duties in net.— Team Canada Men (@HC_Men) August 5, 2014
From these initial showings, there's a couple of interesting tidbits to point out. Lazar, who played wing at last year's tournament, looks to feature in his more natural centre position. Given that Canada's current group of centre's includes the aforementioned McDavid and Reinhart, but also junior star Nic Petan and top-5 pick Sam Bennett, Lazar may have a tough time getting offensive minutes and instead may look to play against the tough minutes against the top lines of the opposition.
Ben Harpur, fresh off of his trip to the Memorial Cup, will have a tough time cracking Canada's very talented defense corps. He lined up on the third pair of the second group with Travis Sanheim, and didn't feature in today's game against the Czech Republic. However, North Bay's Nick Paul may have a shot to make the team in the 4th line role, lining up as a 4th line winger (he's usually a Centre) in both the split squad game and the first exhibition game. Obviously take these lineups with a grain of salt, as a lot can change and these are just the preliminary showings from camp, but it looks like the Sens will have a representative on Team Canada come December.
The tournament will be held in Montreal and Toronto this year and will start on Boxing Day, ending on January 5th. Anyone planning to make it out this year?
- SensTV sat down with defenseman Mikael Wikstrand, who recently attended his first development camp with the organization. He will be playing with Frolunda in the SHL this year, but noted that he hopes to make the jump to North America (AHL or NHL) next year. [Ottawa Senators]
- Amateur Scout Greg Royce was named Buffalo's director of Amateur Scouting, joining recently departed Rob Murphy (now the Director of Pro Scouting). Royce's area was the Ontario region, which now is an area of need for the Sens to fill for this season. Drafted players from this region during his tenure includes: Cowick, Noesen, Puempel, Prince, Maidens, Harpur. [Buffalo Sabres]
- Chirp had a great article discussing the Senators 2015 UFAs, and how talks have been going with them. [SensChirp]
- Chet had his August edition of his "off-ice power rankings" - click through to see who ranked #1! [Bonk's Mullet]
- Yost discussed the potential of having Turris play a lot more minutes with Karlsson this year, now that Jason Spezza is in Dallas. [Travis Yost]
- SenShot continues their profiling of Senators players, this time looking at Mark Stone. [SenShot]
- With PK Subban signing for an AAV of $9M, Amelia asked which elite defenseman has the best contract. [Weekly Question]
- The L Sisters, Amelia and Elizabeth, had the piece that made me laugh the most this weekend. A must-read. [Silver Seven]
- ICYMI, we kicked off our Top 25 Under 25 series today. This is my first year taking part as a writer, and I'm very excited because I always learned a lot from these articles. Ranked at #25 is Swedish goaltender Marcus Hogberg, and right after is Cole Schneider, who currently plays in the AHL. [Hogberg, Schneider]
- SB Nation released their NHL "hate map" yesterday, displaying the most hated team in each state. For some reason, the Senators are really hated in Wyoming. Did Eric Gryba and Zack Smith have a bad hunting trip over there or something?? [SB Nation]
- Cam Charron looks at the salary of the new "big thing", puck-moving defensemen. [NHL Numbers]
- I highly recommend checking out NHL.com's 30-in-30 schedule, which takes a look at a different NHL team every day. The Sens are up on August 19th. [NHL]
- In other, boo-worthy news, Gary Bettman earned $8.8M during the lockout season. [The Score]
- Blue Jackets first-round pick Sonny Milano declined playing with Plymouth (OHL) in order to go to Boston College in the NCAA. With more and more NCAA players in the NHL year after year (and the Senators being one of the teams with a love for NCAA players), is this the beginning of a paradigm shift when answering the question "what's the best way to get into the NHL?" [The Score]