Two Minnesota Wild prospects have been invited to Canada’s National Junior Team’s selection camp in Calgary. Matt Dumba and Tyler Graovac will compete for a spot to represent Team Canada at this year’s IIHF World Junior Championship (WJC).
Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp, Dec. 11-13, 2012 at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.
Dumba, the Wild’s first-round pick (7th overall) in this summer’s NHL Entry Draft, plays for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League (WHL). In 28 games, the blueliner has 15 points (6-9=15) and 37 PIM. The 18-year-old is 20th amongst WHL defensemen in scoring. He represented Team WHL in the recent Subway Super Series versus Team Russia. Dumba was invited to Canada’s National Junior Team’s selection camp last season, but was one of the final players cut from the squad.
In his fourth season with the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Graovac is having a breakout year. His 27 points (18-9=27) in only 23 games already has tied a previous career high and is third best on Ottawa. The forward’s 18 goals are good for 14th amongst all skaters in the OHL. The Wild’s seventh-round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft represented Team OHL in the Subway Super Series, scoring a goal in two games against Team Russia.
"It's a huge honor," Graovac said on the PONDcast. "I grew up watching the World Juniors, since I was a kid, watching it at Christmas."
A total of 37 players have been invited to the selection camp. In total, 31 of the players named to the selection camp roster were drafted in either the 2011 or 2012 NHL Entry Drafts, including 13 first-round selections and eight second-round picks.
"It's always been a dream of mine and a huge goal of mine, especially coming into this season," Graovac said. "To be selected onto this list and heading to Calgary is going to be very exciting for me."
There will be one Red-White intrasquad game (Dec. 11) and two games against teams from Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) on Dec. 12 and 13. The CIS teams will be comprised of players from the University of Calgary, University of Alberta and Mount Royal University.
The 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships are from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Ufa, Russia, with pre-competition games beginning Thursday, Dec. 20.
Last season, no Wild prospects represented Team Canada at the WJC. Last year, Minnesota prospects Jonas Brodin, Johan Larsson and Johan Gustafsson led Team Sweden to the World Junior Championship gold medal.
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