By Josh Howald
Kincardine's Garrett McFadden is one of 43 players in the country invited to attend Canada's National under-18 summer selection camp in Calgary.
"It's pretty exciting," said McFadden, who recently returned to town following the completion of his secondary school year in Guelph.
His Guelph Storm was defeated in the championship game of the Memorial Cup tournament by the WHL's Edmonton OilKings after cruising through the rest of the tourney undefeated.
"It is nice to be home," said the defenceman on Friday. "It's the longest season I have ever been a part of."
McFadden will resume his training, with an eye on Hockey Canada's under-18 selection camp. The 43 players selected to attend the training camp, which begins Aug. 2, will be vying for a spot on Canada's national under-18 team. The roster will be trimmed down to 22 players for the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament, played in Slovakia and the Czech Republic starting on Aug. 11. Canada has won this tournament the past six consecutive years, and in nine of the last 10 years.
The training camp roster also includes forward Ethan Szypula of the Owen Sound Attack, as well as 13 other OHL players, 18 players from the WHL, 10 from the QMJHL and one from high school hockey in the United States. All born in 1997, the players were selected by Ryan Jankowski, Hockey Canada's head scout for men's national teams with consultation from head coach Derek Laxdal (Edmonton OilKings), assistant coaches Jody Hull (Peterborough Petes) and Eric Veilleux (Baie-Comeau), as well as the Program of Excellence management group. That group is comprised of Bruce Hamilton, Sean Burke, Joel Bouchard and Mark Hunter, and works directly with Hockey Canada's vice-president of hockey operations and national teams Scott Salmond and Canada's National Junior Team policy committee in setting direction for the program.
"It is always a challenge to select players given the depth of talent in Canada," said Jankowski. "As a staff, we will have some difficult decisions to make, but our goal remains to select the best team to represent Canada proudly at this event.