The Dallas Stars’ top two picks in the 2011 NHL Draft hit the ice in Edmonton Wednesday as Canada opens its National Junior Team summer development camp.
Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (1st round/14th overall) and right wing Brett Ritchie (2nd round/44th overall) are among 47 players taking part in the camp, which is one part of the process as Canada picks its 22-man roster for the 2012 World Junior Championship. How players perform during the first part of the 2011-12 season will be a big factor. There will a selection camp in December, after which the final roster will be revealed.
I’d think Oleksiak has a pretty good shot at making the final roster. Ritchie could be a long shot. Time will tell though.
The summer development camp runs Wednesday through Sunday and will feature Red-White games on Saturday and Sunday. Both Oleksiak and Ritchie will play for Team Red. The games are scheduled to be streamed on the internet on a pay-per-view basis by fasthockey.com.
Saturday August 6, Red vs. White, 8 p.m. (CT)
Sunday August 7, Red vs. White, 7 p.m. (CT)
Hockey Canada’s World Juniors site is here.
Oleksiak and Ritchie won’t be the only Stars prospects to hit the ice this week. Goaltender Jack Campbell (USA), defenseman Patrik Nemeth (Sweden) and defenseman John Klingberg (Sweden) will be in Lake Placid, NY later this week for their country’s World Junior summer camps.
The USA is hosting teams from Sweden and Finland for a series of exhibition games. Those games are scheduled to be streamed on the internet by fasthockey.com. More on that later in the week.
NHL Note: Islanders vote fails
Voters in Nassau County, New York Monday rejected a $400 million referendum that would have paved the way for a new arena for the New York Islanders. That leaves the Islanders' future on Long Island in doubt. The team's lease at Nassau Coliseum expires after the 2014-15 season. Here are two articles on the aftermath of the vote: