BOUCHERVILLE, Que. – Hockey Canada unveiled today its list of Canadian National Junior Team candidates ahead of the 2018 World Juniors held in Buffalo, N.Y., from December 26 to January 5, 2018.
From the list of players invited to attend the selection camp held in St. Catharines, Ont., from December 12 to 15, you can find three players originating from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League ranks.
- HARVEY, Samuel | Alma, Quebec | Goaltender | Rouyn-Noranda Huskies
- BATHERSON, Drake | Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S.A. | Centre | Cape-Breton Screaming Eagles
- COMTOIS, Maxime | Longueuil, Quebec | Left Wing | Victoriaville Tigres
All three players will be invited for the very first time to Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp. They will have a chance to prove they belong on Team Canada during the camp’s three preparation games; on December 13 and 14 against the U SPORTS all-stars and, on December 15, versus Denmark’s National Junior Team.
Samuel Harvey earned his invitation following his stellar performances during the CIBC Canada Russia Series, on top of dominating the Q up to this point this season. The goaltender is currently tied for first place in the league with 15 wins in 23 starts and sits in second place with both a .921% save percentage and a 2.40 goals-against average.
As for Drake Batherson, he was the QMJHL’s top scorer before seeing a fractured finger keep him away from game action since November 19. The man who currently sits fifth in league scoring had amassed 17 goals and 20 assists for a total of 37 points in his first 22 games played. A fourth-round selection of the Ottawa Senators in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Batherson should make his way back onto the ice in time for Team Canada’s selection camp.
In regards to Maxime Comtois, he is the only QMJHL invitee to have worn Canada’s colors in the past. He did so during 2016’s World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship and U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. At the time of writing these lines, Comtois had amassed 15 goals and 10 assists for a total of 25 points in 26 games played this season. He is also the QMJHL’s leader with four shorthanded goals scored.
It is to be noted that head coach Dominique Ducharme (Drummondville | Voltigeurs) will be at the helm of Canada’s National Junior Team for a second consecutive year after leading the same squad to a silver medal at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.