Despite the fact that he’s a digital lock to be invited to Hockey Canada’s world junior group choice camp, Regina Pats centre Sam Metal remains to be nervous.
Metal and different prime beginner gamers throughout the nation will preserve their telephones helpful on Wednesday as Hockey Canada holds a information convention to announce who can have the chance to earn a spot on its world junior championship roster.
The native of Sherwood Park, Alta., was invited to choice camp final yr however didn’t make the ultimate lower. Metal set a torrid tempo within the Western Hockey League after that setback, main the league in factors with 50 objectives and 81 assists and incomes WHL participant of the yr honours. He additionally participated in Canada’s Summer season Showcase improvement camp, an low season lead as much as the choice camp.
“It being the second time round at camp I could be rather less nervous,” stated Metal on Tuesday in a telephone interview from Regina. “However nonetheless, it’s a tough group to make and when you get that chance it’s an enormous honour.”
After attending Anaheim Geese coaching camp in September, Metal returned to Regina and has continued to show his value, scoring 12 objectives and including 18 assists in 24 video games this season.
Canada’s choice camp will likely be held on the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, Ont., subsequent week as Hockey Canada whittles its roster all the way down to 23 gamers. A part of that course of contains video games towards a group of all-stars from U Sports activities on Dec. 13 and 14 after which an exhibition recreation towards Denmark on Dec. 15.
Metal will seemingly be invited to the choice camp on Wednesday and is a favorite to make Canada’s group that can play on the world juniors in Buffalo, N.Y., from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5. After final yr’s choice camp head coach Dominique Ducharme — who’s again behind the bench for Canada — advised Metal that his exclusion from the group was extra about his age and timing fairly than altering something about how he performs.
Now 19, Metal took that recommendation to coronary heart and saved working onerous on and off the ice.
“I simply must preserve exhibiting them what I can do, what I’ve proven them over the past two camps,” Metal stated. “Simply play my recreation to its fullest potential.”
It’s anticipated that seven gamers will return from final yr’s silver-medal profitable group. Goaltender Carter Hart (Everett), defencemen Jake Bean (Calgary), Kale Clague (Brandon) and Dante Fabbro (Boston College) and forwards Dillon Dube (Kelowna), Michael McLeod (Mississauga) and Taylor Raddysh (Erie) are all eligible returnees.
Different gamers more likely to be invited to the choice camp are Metal’s Pats teammate Josh Mahura, Ontario Hockey League main scorer Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia), centre Robert Thomas (London), and goalies Michael DiPietro (Windsor) and Dylan Wells (Peterborough).
Most of the gamers will likely be acquainted to Metal, who performed on Canada’s gold-medal profitable group on the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial event together with Hart, Bean, Clague, Fabbro, Dube, McLeod, Kyrou and Wells.
“There’s all the time lots of these guys that you simply don’t see a complete lot, so whenever you go to the camps it’s good to see them,” Metal stated. “I’m excited to hopefully see all these guys.”