Ahead of the 2021 World Juniors Championship, Team Canada has been granted an extended selection camp, to be held from Nov. 16 to Dec. 13 in Red Deer, Alberta. Los Angeles Kings prospects Quinton Byfield and Jordan Spence have been invited as part of a 46-player roster.
The full camp roster includes five goaltenders, 15 defenders and 26 forwards.
Per the release:
The selection camp will include practices and three intrasquad games, as well as six games against a team of U SPORTS all-stars, between Nov. 28 and Dec. 13 before the team enters the bubble in Edmonton in preparation for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship. The camp will take place in a cohort bubble and will be closed to the public and media. Details about media availability throughout selection camp will be announced at a later date.
“As we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, Hockey Canada has taken important steps to maintain the health and safety of our National Junior Team athletes and staff, as well as the community at large, during selection camp and throughout the World Juniors,” said Tom Renney, chief executive officer of Hockey Canada. “As much as we would enjoy allowing fans into the building to support Team Canada throughout the camp, we need to be responsible as we look to keep all parties safe before teams enter the bubble in Edmonton.”
Byfield is among six returnees from the 2020 World Juniors Gold Medal Championship team; the other five are Bowen Byram (Vancouver Giants, WHL), Dylan Cozens (Lethbridge Hurricanes, WHL), Jamie Drysdale (Erie Otters, OHL), Connor McMichael (London Knights, OHL) and Dawson Mercer (Chicoutimi Saguenéens, QMJHL). Playing a limited role in seven games, Byfield notched just one assist in last year’s tournament. The 18-year-old was selected second overall in the 2020 NHL Draft.
Spence previously represented Team Canada in the 2019 World Juniors Under-18 tournament, scoring three points in seven games. Canada ultimately lost to Team USA in the Bronze Medal game. The 19-year-old defender has tallied four assists in five games with the Moncton Wildcats in the QMJHL this season. He was drafted in the fourth round (95 overall) of the 2019 Draft.
The 2021 World Juniors Championship will be held bubble-style in Edmonton, Alberta. This year has been scaled back to include just the top-tier competition, due to the coronavirus pandemic limiting both travel and gatherings.
The tournament will begin with a preliminary round on Christmas Day (Dec. 25, 2020) through Dec. 31. The quarterfinals will be on Jan. 2, 2021, followed by the semifinals on Jan. 4. The Bronze and Gold Medal games will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 5.