Erie Otters rookie Connor McDavid will be in the spotlight at the All-Canadians Mentorship Camp (Terry Wilson, …Probably the most notable name attending the Allstate All-Canadians Mentorship Cup is Connor McDavid, which was touched on in a TSN segment that ran on Wednesday.
The camp, based in Mississauga's Hershey Centre, has run each summer since 2010 by the NHL Players' Association. It's advertised as a "platform for NHL Players to give back to their roots by sharing their experiences, skills, and insights with the next generation of young hockey players, parents, and coaches." It features 42 of the best bantam-aged players in the country and run by Gary Roberts, who brings along NHLers to help coach. Jason Spezza coached last year's winning team, and Boston Bruins centre Tyler Seguin has been added to the roster for this week's event. The team captains for Saturday's game (3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT, TSN) will be former OHL stars and NHL No. 1 overall picks Taylor Hall and John Tavares. The 42-player list can be found here.
Seguin was on TSN's Off The Record Wednesday afternoon and said that the talent of some of the guys "made him a little nervous." He had asked McDavid how he'd handle a player like 6-foot-9 Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, but McDavid responded by saying he'd have to get there first.
McDavid credited a lot of his success to watching Toronto Maple Leafs games growing up and watching Mats Sundin and Roberts, specifically, and not just their skill, but how they'd position themselves. Roberts has a training video on the website, and he's been known for training several young hockey players in the Greater Toronto Area in the offseason.
Burnaby Winter Club's Mathew Barzal (WHL.ca)The Western Hockey League, which selects players from their bantam year, not their midget year unlike the OHL and QMJHL, is sending nine of its first 10 picks, including top selection Mathew Barzal of the Seattle Thunderbirds. Kootenay's Troy Murray is the only top-10 pick who was not included.
Since there's an age limit in junior, the players showing up at this camp represent the very near future in junior hockey. It's likely that several of the other players participating from Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes will be high selections next spring when the OHL and QMJHL make their midget selections.
The most recognizable name is Mississauga native Dylan Strome, brother of New York Islanders first-rounder Ryan Strome of the OHL's Niagara IceDogs. Strome played for the bantam version of the Toronto Marlboros, not McDavid's minor midget team, along with fellow campers Kyle Capobianco and Mitchell Stephens.
The Burnaby Winter Club is the only hockey club to be sending more players to the camp: Barzal and fellow WHL first-rounders Adam Musil, Ty Ronning, Ty Schultz and goaltender Nick McBride.
The scrimmage is a good chance for fans to get a first look at some of the prospects that will be discussed this upcoming spring, and for fans in Western Canada, an introduction to the players already selected by their team.