Team Ontario U17 Camp being held at the Benson Centre
Cornwall, ON - A group of top-rated hockey prospects will be taking to the ice at the Benson Centre from July 3rd to July 8th to compete in the Team Ontario Under-17 Selection Camp.
The camp will see 84 of the most talented young hockey players from across Ontario battle it out with one another for a chance to represent Ontario at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in December. The players have been selected through regional camps across the province, and many of them have already been drafted by OHL teams. Some of the top selections in this year’s OHL Draft – including first overall pick Connor McDavid and third overall pick Eric Cornel – are expected to be in attendance.
“It’s basically your top 84 16-year-olds across Ontario,” said Jeff Baker, Technical Coordinator with the Ottawa District Hockey Association, the body that is organizing the camp.
Based on their play at the selection camp, the players will be shortlisted and evaluated further during the upcoming hockey season prior to the Team Ontario U 17 team being announced near the end of November.
The Team Ontario U 17 program is considered a stepping stone to the World Under-18 and World Junior Hockey Championships and, by extension, the NHL. Some of the current NHL stars who have suited up for the Team Ontario U 17 team include Jeff Carter, Drew Doughty, Steve Stamkos, Matt Duchene, Taylor Hall, Rick Nash, Corey Perry, Mike Richards, Tyler Seguin and Eric and Jordan Staal.
Between the players, parents and hockey staff on hand, the selection camp will draw 300-plus people to Cornwall for the week - including officials from Hockey Canada. At the same time, the Ottawa District Hockey Association will be hosting a National Coaching Certification Program in conjunction with the selection camp. Approximately 30 delegates will be taking part in the program, which will include classroom lectures at the NAV CENTRE. In addition, the participants will be involved with running the on-ice sessions for the Team Ontario U 17 camp at the Benson Centre.
“We’re thrilled to host this provincial hockey event at the Benson Centre,” said Mayor Bob Kilger. “It will generate economic spin-offs for the community and it provides us with another opportunity to showcase our great City to families from across Ontario.”
In addition to the economic spin-offs that come with the event, the community will also have an opportunity to enjoy some top-notch hockey for free. Mr. Baker said local hockey fans are welcome to take in the action at the Benson Centre. The players will be on the ice every day during the camp, and the schedule will consist of a practice each morning and two scrimmages each night.
Mr. Baker said the Ottawa District Hockey Association decided to host the selection camp at the Benson Centre after being approached by officials from the Cornwall Minor Hockey Association.