Tyler Toffoli netted 57 goals for the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s last season, more than any other player in major-junior hockey.
Both players participated in Team Canada’s World Junior evaluation camp last summer. Yet, neither player made the final cut when rosters were released, just prior to the tournament getting underway in December.
Would Canada, a country who doesn’t measure its success on the ice in silver or bronze, have won gold at the 2011 World Junior tournament with either player?
We’ll never know. Russia beat Canada in the finals and now Vey has aged-out, as the tournament is for the best under-20 players.
Toffoli is back though and when Team Canada opens its evaluation camp later this morning he’ll be looking to right a wrong.
Given all that’s happened in the last year, you’d have to think it would be an absolute shock if Toffoli didn’t make the team. However, he says he’s not thinking that far ahead. He just wants to come into camp and show off his skills, play his game.
The attendees will be split off into two groups, Canada’s familiar team white and team red. Toffoli’s team white squad will also include the first player selected at the 2011 NHL Draft, Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. They’ll also have defenseman Dougie Hamilton (Boston Bruins) and Devante Smith-Pelly (Anaheim Ducks).
Over on team red, they’ll feature hulking defenseman Erik Gudbranson (Florida Panthers) and right wing Brett Connolly (who was a guest on MayorsManor last June, just prior to the Tampa Bay Lightning selecting him in the first round at the draft held in Los Angeles).
Full rosters can be viewed here.
The bulk of this year’s evaluation camp will take place in Edmonton and then the final scrimmage will take place in Fort McMurray on Sunday.
Here’s an overview of the schedule:
Aug 3 – Practice
Aug 4 – Red-White scrimmage
Aug 5 – Practice
Aug 6 – Red-White scrimmage
Aug 7 – Red-White scrimmage
MayorsManor will have more notes throughout the week as things develop. Toffoli will have to go it alone this year though, unlike last year when he had more than a handful of other Kings prospects alongside him in camp to keep him company (something Kyle Clifford spoke about in an interview liked below).
Up soon, notes on Team USA’s evaluation camp, which will be getting underway shortly in New York…and features four Kings prospects…up from just one last year.
Warming Up for the World Juniors with Kyle Clifford – Team Canada summer camp 2010
WJC Memories with Captain Canada – Ryan Smyth talks World Junior Championships